Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser has called on a new code of conduct for private car parking operators to include strict new rules for debt collectors.
Debt collectors appointed by private parking companies to retrieve unpaid fines are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority unlike those tasked with recovering unpaid consumer debt.
Parkers who feel that they are being threatened or misled can report this to the police but many feel this is too blunt an instrument when dealing with debt recovery agents.
Murdo believes that this gap in regulation has allowed an environment to develop that fosters cowboy companies who regularly use borderline illegal and intimidating tactics.
Tough new rules for debt collectors could be rolled into a new binding code of conduct for parking companies currently being prepared at Westminster.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“It’s astonishing that debt collectors appointed by private parking companies have almost carte blanche to do as they please.
“I have been contacted by a number of motorists who have been pursued aggressively by debt collectors with some even threatening to turn up at their door and remove possessions.
“Elderly and vulnerable motorists are clearly being preyed upon by these bullies.
“General law is almost too cumbersome to deal with this type of behaviour and in any event we shouldn’t be asking the police to act when tighter regulations would do the job.
“A new statutory code of conduct would go some way to improving the situation. Bringing private parking appointed debt collectors under tough new rules would at least give motorists an avenue to air complaints fairly and I hope this is considered as the bill makes its way through Westminster.”