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Does a process server really need to be FCA registered?

Does a process server really need to be FCA registered?

On 1st April 2014 the regulation of debt collection moved to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) from the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). One major change that occurred was the exemption of third party tracing agents who merley traced debtors. There is no longer a need for investigators, enquiry agents or tracing agents undertaking this work to be registered.


However, to the suprise of many, it was recently stated by a representative of the FCA that they considered that the activity of process serving fell under the regulated activity of debt collection and that anyone not having been granted interim permission by the FCA and partaking in the serving of process related to FCA regulated debt was doing so outside of the law.


It is our undertanding that at present the majority of process servers in UK have not obtained interim permission and now face a lengthy delay before being able to obtain FCA permission.


We can confirm Tremark Associates are holders of a Consumer Credit Licence No 402508 and have succesfully obtained interim permision from the FCA. A copy of our FCA Interim Permission can be seen by clicking here


Despite obtaining interim permission we do not believe this approach follows previous policy and/or practice nor to our knowledge has the view been supported by a professional legal opinion.  The Association of British Investigators, of whom we are members are seeking clarity on the issue.
It should be noted that the FCA requirement only applies to debt recovery matters where the debts are due under a credit agreement, a consumer hire agreement or a relevant Article 36H agreement.
Tremark Associates offer process serving throughout the United Kingdom.
For futher information of the subject please contact Mark Hodgson on 0845 862 8666 or email

About The Author

Mark Hodgson is the Managing Director of Tremark Associates, one of the UK’s leading providers of investigative services. Mark has 30 years experience in private Investigations and the commercial debt recovery industries. He is Vice President of the Association of British Investigators, a member of the World Association of Detectives, The Institute of Credit Management and an associate member of R3 -The Association of Business Recovery Profession.