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Debt management firms can take many different forms. Paul Leech explains the Financial Reporting Council’s requirements to be a CASS debt management firm.

Debt management firms take many different forms from commercial debt management companies through Citizens Advice Bureau to other not-for-profit organisations. Chapter 11 of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) Client Assets Sourcebook (CASS) sets out the requirements that apply to CASS debt management firms if they receive or hold money of clients during the course of their activities (see CASS 11.1.1R). CASS 8 (the mandate rules) will also apply when a CASS debt management firm has mandates in connection with its debt management activity (see CASS 8.1.1R(3)).

FCA defines a ‘CASS debt management firm’ as a firm that (a) carries on the activities of debt counselling or debt adjusting, alone or together, with a view to an individual entering into a particular debt solution; (b) carries on the activity of debt counselling where an associate carries on debt adjusting with the aim in (a) in view; (c) carries on the activity of debt adjusting where an associate carries on debt counselling with the aim (a) in view; or (d) is a not for profit debt advice body.