Consumer Credit Counselling Service

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) is a registered charity in the United Kingdom which has followed the creditor funded American model of debt counselling. CCCS is currently the largest debt advice charity in the UK, and is funded entirely by the credit industry.

The stated purpose of the organisation is to assist people who are in financial difficulty by providing free advice and debt management plans to assist individuals with managing unsecured debts. CCCS receives between 10% and 12% voluntary monthly contributions from the credit industry for the services provided.

The trustees of the charity include Christopher Leslie. The chairman is Malcolm Hurlston who is often quoted in the media on debt issues. Other trustees are Jeremy Burton, Doug Ross, Geoff Mulcahy and Gordon Beesley. The chief executive of the charity is Gordon Bell.


The charity was started in 1993 with funding from Registry Trust Ltd, Barclaycard and GE Consumer Finance. Vic Ware OBE and Malcolm Hurlston introduced CCCS to the UK as a pilot scheme based in Leeds.

In 1996, new centres opened in Nottingham, Birmingham and Cardiff. The introduction of counselling over the telephone proved to be a success and allowed expansion of their services to continue throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s at a relatively low cost.

The charity has also worked with the Community Channel that filmed 'Unsecured'. This short TV film which first aired in 2005 dealt with a former CCCS client who became a counsellor and her experiences with debt. The story was based on a play shown at the National Theatre as part of the "Headline" series. This play was written by Gregory Burke.


The charity's head office is based in Leeds, England. There are also centres in London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, Birmingham, Chester, Halifax, Eastbourne, Nottingham and Limavady, Northern Ireland.

Recent developments

In 2007, CCCS provided in-depth counselling sessions to over 64,000 people, repaid £194 million to lenders, set up 31,045 debt management plans, and answered 253,000 calls on its helpline. The average unsecured debt levels of a CCCS client in 2007 was £29,038. Over 75,000 people used the CCCS Debt Remedy online counselling service in 2007.

In 2006, the charity introduced a personal online counselling called "Debt Remedy". In April 2007, the charity opened CCCS Voluntary Arrangements (CCCSVA), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Foundation for Credit Counselling, which runs the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. It will covenant its profits to the foundation.

External links

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