Criteria for debt advice orgs

PANA criteria for debt advice organisations to display the FairLife Mark

PANA stands for Peer Agreed and Nationally Approved meaning that the criteria have been agreed by a peer group of providers and approved by the FairLife Charity.  The resulting standards combine fairness to the public with business practicality.  PANA criteria evidence that FairLife-marked products and services meet the FairLife Pledge.

  1. The debt advice service must be free to the client. This includes no cross-selling and no incentives to sell third-party products.
  2. Staff in the organisation must be appropriately trained. The advice organisation must ensure that staff members are sufficiently trained to provide suitable advice to customers.  This requires that the provider is vouched for by a FairLife Agent.
  3. The debt advice organisation must act with integrity and in the customers’ best interests at all times.
  4. Non-FCA-regulated debt advice organisations must adhere to the FCA’s Principles and Conduct Rules. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not currently regulate all debt advice, thereby depriving some clients of the benefit.  A FairLife debt advice organisation voluntarily follows the FCA’s Principles and Conduct Rules in its dealings with all clients, not just those who are subject to regulated advice.
If peer agreement can be secured in the future the charity will seek to introduce standardised terminology.  This will build public trust and help FairLife Schools, colleges and universities to teach financial education.

The FairLife Mark is awarded via a FairLife Agent based predominantly on the provider’s own declarations.  The organisation may cease using the mark and cancel their commitment at any time.

To download a summary for debt advice organisations click here

The FairLife pledge

The fair trading mark represents a pledge to price honestly and trade fairly with your customers.  Any product or service displaying the FairLife Mark must be fairly traded and honestly priced within the constraints of the market:

  • The provider must follow the spirit as well as the letter of any agreed regulator’s rules and principles with an emphasis on treating customers fairly.
  • The provider must adhere to agreed sources of profit as detailed in the PANA criteria below.  Any extra fees or charges must be designed only to cover additional costs and not to generate additional profits.

In taking the pledge you agree to embrace good practice within the constraints of the market and to avoid poor practice which although legal is considered avoidable on a voluntary basis by your peers.  Nothing in the FairLife initiative should put you at a commercial disadvantage.

 The FairLife Mark is on your side