Criteria for debt advice

Core criteria of the fair trading mark

1. The product or service must be honestly priced and fairly traded:
a. The provider must follow the spirit of the FCA’s rules and principles with an emphasis on treating customers fairly.
b. Material profit must be made only from positive aspects of the customer journey.  Any extra fees or charges must be designed only to cover additional costs and not to generate material profits.

PANA criteria and clarifications
2. The debt advice service must be free to the client. 
This includes no cross-selling and no incentives to sell third-party products.
4. The Advisor must act with integrity and in the customers’ best interests at all times.
5. Non-FCA-regulated debt must be treated in the same manner as regulated debt.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not currently regulate all debt advice, thereby depriving some clients of the benefit.  A FairLife debt advisor voluntarily follows the FCA handbook in its dealings with all clients, not just those who are subject to regulated advice.


1. Nothing in criteria two prevents a FairLife debt manager from referring a client to a fee paying service, or a fee charging product, if this referral is considered to be in the best interests of the client.

2. Nothing in criterion two prevents debt advice groups from applying for the mark if they are part of a commercial group provided that the debt advice operation is a separate entity. The debt advice service must be free to the clients and the products of outside vendors must be considered equally with those from within the group.

Any recommendation must reflect the client's best interest.

To download a summary of the Debt Advice Mark click here

To download a licence for the Debt Advice Mark click here