15. August 2011 09:14
ASIC has taken action over the debt collection practices of Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd (Shield Mercantile) following complaints from consumers about harassment.
Among the complaints were concerns regarding unduly frequent contact with debtors, contact with third parties, inappropriate and aggressive phonecalls and inadequate internal dispute resolution policies and procedures.
Senior Executive Leader of ASIC’s Deposit Takers, Credit and Insurers stakeholder team, Greg Kirk, said: ‘Creditors and debt collectors can’t behave in a way that is misleading, or that amounts to undue harassment or coercion. ASIC will take appropriate steps to ensure that debt collectors comply with the law.’
In response to ASIC’s concerns, Shield Mercantile has reviewed its compliance system and processes and implemented a number of changes, including:
· a telephone call recording system
· regular audits of debt collecting telephone calls
· improvement in the training of staff
· improvement in internal dispute resolution procedures, and
· appointment of a Quality Assurance Manager, Compliance Manager and Group Coordinator.
ASIC acknowledges the cooperation of Shield Mercantile in responding to and resolving these issues.