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The OFT impose requirements on Aktiv Kapital


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Action taken against debt recovery giant over pressure practices


Tuesday 23rd November 2010


A global debt recovery giant has become the latest firm to be warned over ‘unreasonably’ pressurising practices, following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)


The OFT has now imposed requirements on Aktiv Kapital to secure improvements to its debt collection and communication practices, warning that if the debt firm does not comply it faces a fine of up to £50,000.


One of the larger debt collection companies in the UK, Aktiv Kapital is based in Norway but has a UK arm in Bromley and operates across the UK.


An OFT investigation found that Aktiv Kapital had been chasing people for disputed debts without properly investigating the issues in dispute, in breach of the OFT’s debt collection guidance.


The investigation also found that those being chased felt ‘unreasonably pressurised’ by Aktiv Kapital.


Although Aktiv Kapital has taken action to address the practices that concerned the OFT, requirements have been imposed to ensure that future conduct of the same or a similar kind does not occur.


The wrong person being pursued for a debt is a common theme in complaints about the debt collection industry received by the OFT. This is often rooted in inaccurate or incomplete data being passed on by the owner of the debt when a debt is sold or its collection is sub-contracted.


One of the requirements imposed set out that Aktiv Kapital must not pursue debts where it has been notified in writing that the debt is disputed until the dispute has been properly investigated – this includes cases where the person being chased for payment says that they are not the debtor in question.


The debt collector must also ensure that its communications are not threatening or constitute unreasonable pressure, and that it deals sensitively with particularly vulnerable customers.


Commenting on the OFT’s decision, Ray Watson, Director of the OFT's Consumer Credit Group, said: “We have taken action against Aktiv Kapital to address unsatisfactory practices and protect vulnerable consumers. Requirements have been imposed to ensure that these practices are not repeated.”




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