Detailed Customer Privacy Notice

Lowell are committed to protecting your privacy and that’s why we have designed this website to make it easy for you to get all the information you need.

You can find out all about how we use your personal information, who we may share it with and how we protect it, as well as finding out about your rights and how to exercise them.

If you would like a copy of this privacy notice or if you have any questions about how either Lowell Portfolio I Ltd or Lowell Financial Ltd use and share your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer by writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Financial Ltd, PO BOX 1411, Northampton, NN2 1BQ.

How we use our customers' personal data
Who are we?

Lowell are a group of companies which includes Lowell Portfolio I Ltd and Lowell Financial Ltd. Where we use “we”, “our” or “us” in this privacy notice, we mean both Lowell Portfolio I Ltd and Lowell Financial Ltd unless we say otherwise.


We buy customer accounts where there is an outstanding balance from a wide range of organisations including banks, retailers and credit card, mobile phone, home shopping and utility (gas, electricity and water) companies.


If you are a Lowell customer, this means that Lowell has bought your account or the right to collect the amount that you owe on your account.  We refer to this as “your account” in this privacy notice and we will work with you to arrange repayment of the outstanding balance.


Lowell Portfolio I Ltd buys your account and Lowell Financial Ltd manages your account on behalf of Lowell Portfolio I Ltd. This means that if we write or speak to you, it will usually be Lowell Financial Ltd that you are dealing with.


Company

Lowell Portfolio I Ltd 

Lowell Financial Ltd

Company number

Company number 04857418 

Company number 04558936

Country 

Incorporated in the UK

Incorporated in the UK

Registered office

Ellington House, 9 Savannah Way, Leeds Valley Park, Leeds LS10 1AB

Ellington House, 9 Savannah Way, Leeds Valley Park, Leeds LS10 1AB

 

We are joint controllers of your information which means that we are both responsible for looking after it.

We also provide credit management solutions to other companies to help them manage the accounts that you have with them.

For details of the UK companies in the Lowell group, please see the section Who are the Lowell Group? below.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect:

  • your name
  • your contact details (including your current and previous addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses)
  • your gender
  • your date of birth
  • details about your account with us including your account number and outstanding balance
  • financial information about you including your credit score, credit history and payment history, information about defaults and missed payments, credit reference information, income and expenditure (including your mortgage and any other outstanding loans you may have) and any other details relating to your account with us and your ability to pay the amounts you owe
  • details of any County Court Judgments (CCJs) which you may have
  • details of any bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings which you have entered into
  • call recordings
  • information about you contained in correspondence with you and with third parties
  • your bank account information if you set up a Direct Debit with us
  • if you make a payment by credit or debit card, we process your card information for the purposes of taking your payment but we do not store your card details unless you consent to us doing so and
  • details of any queries, disputes or complaints you may raise with us


We will regularly check your credit file to ensure the information that we hold about you on our systems is accurate, complete and up to date. This check is called a ‘soft search’ and may leave what is known as a “soft footprint”. This means that it is not visible to any other organisations and will not affect your credit score. It can only be seen by you, us and the credit reference agency and will show as account administration on your credit file.


Where you provide us with information about your family, lifestyle and social circumstances, employment status and your work history, we may record and use this information where it affects your account with us.


Where it has or may have an impact on your ability to pay the amounts you owe, we may collect information about your mental and physical health.  For more details about how we use this information, please see the section Special categories of personal data below.


We may also collect some limited information, including publicly accessible information such as media reports, about any current criminal convictions you have if we have reason to believe that you may be in prison. We will use this for the purposes of updating the information we hold about you and managing your account.  We may also use this information for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention and for complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation. Please see the section Information relating to criminal convictions for more details.

We may also collect publicly accessible information about you, for example through a Google search, where we have been unable to contact you using the contact details that we hold for you.


If you use our websites, including registering for an online account, please see our Website User privacy notice and our Cookie notice for details of the information we collect through our websites.

Where do we get your information from?

Information that you give us

You may give us information about yourself and your circumstances:

  •  in any communications with us by telephone, email, post, social media or otherwise, whether this is in connection with your account or to report an issue, ask questions or make a complaint and
  • by visiting our website, setting up an online account through our website and filling in forms on our website.

 If you use our websites, please see our Website User privacy notice and our Cookie notice for details of the information we collect through our websites. 

Information that we collect about you

We may collect information about you that is publicly accessible where we have been unable to locate you using the contact details that we hold for you, for example:

 

  • through a Google search
  • news and social media reports
  • entries in online directories
  • information which is available at Companies House

where we have been unable to locate you using the contact details that we hold for you.

We may also collect limited information, such as media reports, about any current criminal convictions you have if we have reason to believe that you may be in prison. We will use this for the purposes of updating the information we hold about you and managing your account.  We may also use this information for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention and for complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing other legislation. Please see the section Information relating to criminal convictions below.

When you visit our website, we collect information about you and the way you use our website.  If you use our websites, please see our Website User privacy notice and our Cookie notice for details of the information we collect through our websites. 

Information that we obtain from the previous owner(s) of your account

We receive information from the previous owner of your account in order to manage your account and collect payments.  This includes:

  • your name and contact details (including your current and previous addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses)
  • your gender
  • your date of birth and
  • information about your account including the outstanding balance, your payment history and details of any defaults or missed payments. 

Information that we obtain from credit reference agencies

Credit reference agencies (or CRAs) hold personal information about individuals.  Most of the personal information they hold relates to how you have maintained your credit accounts.  They also hold address details and information taken from public sources, such as the electoral roll, public records including CCJs and bankruptcy and insolvency information. If you are financially associated with another person (which means that you have a joint credit account or mortgage with them), we will receive financial information relating to that association.

 When we buy your account, we obtain information about you from one or more of the following credit reference agencies:

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • Transunion

We collect this information to confirm the details provided by the previous owner of your account, verify your identity and confirm the accuracy of the information that we hold about you, locate you if we don’t have a current address for you and to check your credit history.

The 3 CRAs listed above have put together an information notice which explains in more detail, how they each use and share personal information they receive about you, which is available at www.experian.co.uk/crain, www.equifax.co.uk/crain and https://www.transunion.com.

 We will regularly check your credit file to ensure the information that we hold about you on our systems is accurate, complete and up to date. This check is called a ‘soft search’ and may leave what is known as a “soft footprint”. This means that it is not visible to any other organisations and will not affect your credit score. It can only be seen by you, us and the credit reference agency and will show as account administration on your credit file.

For details about how we share information with the CRAs, please see Who do we share your information with? and our credit file information fact sheet.

Information that we obtain from third party data providers

We may also obtain information about you from third party data providers which are not credit reference agencies.  We use this third party information to identify customers who have become bankrupt or insolvent or are deceased. We also use it to confirm your contact details.

For details of the information that we share with third party providers, please see the section Who do we share your information with?below.

Information that we may obtain from Cifas and other fraud prevention agencies

We may become a member of a fraud prevention organisation.

 

If we do, we may collect information from that organisation about individuals (both customers and employees) who have committed fraud or other financial crimes for the purposes of preventing fraud and money laundering and to verify your identity. 

 

The checks we carry out require us to process your personal information including, for example, name, address, date of birth, contact details, financial information, employment details, device identifiers including IP address and vehicle details.

 

If we, or a fraud prevention agency, determine that you pose a fraud or money laundering risk, a record of any fraud or money laundering risk will be retained by the fraud prevention agencies, and may result in others refusing to provide services, financing or employment to you.

 

For details about how we share information with fraud prevention agencies, please see Who do we share your information with?

 

 

Information that we obtain from our clients

If we provide credit management solutions to other companies to help them manage the accounts that you have with them, they may provide information about you for us to provide those solutions including to confirm and verify that it is accurate, complete and up to date.

Information that we receive from other companies in the Lowell group

 

We may receive information about you from other members of the Lowell group of companies: 

  • if we instruct them to act on our behalf in connection with your account
  • if your account is transferred to another member of the Lowell group of companies as part of a group reorganisation or otherwise
  • if we provide credit management solutions to them to help them manage the accounts that you have with them and
  • for our internal administrative purposes. 

Information that we collect from other third parties

We may receive information about you from other third parties including: 

  • debt management companies who you have authorised to act on your behalf
  • any other person who has authority to act on your behalf, including someone who is acting under a power of attorney
  • debt collection agencies who we instruct to collect payments from you on our behalf and
  • law firms who we instruct to act on our behalf to recover amounts that you owe and to enforce any judgments that we may have against you.

Call recording

We may monitor and/or record calls for the purposes of resolving issues on your account, training and to improve our quality and service standards.

 For details of when we may share call recordings with third parties, please see Who do we share your information with? 

CCTV images

We operate CCTV at all of our premises. If you visit any of our offices, you may be recorded by our CCTV system. 

For details of when we may share CCTV images with third parties, please see Who do we share your information with?

We may combine the information that you give us with the information we collect about you from the other sources listed above.

Why do we need your information?

Debt collection activities

We need your information in order to carry out our debt collection activities.  These include:

  • locating you, checking your identity and confirming that the information we hold about you is correct
  • managing your account
  • agreeing payment plans which are tailored to your individual circumstances
  • processing any payments you make
  • providing information to the credit reference agencies about the payments you make and any payments you miss
  • taking legal action (such as issuing court proceedings) against you
  • taking action to enforce any judgment we obtain against you

As we have bought your account, we have a legitimate interest in collecting the amounts that you owe under the agreements that you have entered into.

Where we process your information on the basis of “legitimate interests”, we must make sure that those legitimate interests do not override your interests, rights and freedoms. We must do this by carrying out a legitimate interest assessment which we must share with you. This is set out below.

 

What are the legitimate interests?

  • As we have bought your account, it is in our commercial interests to collect the amounts that you owe under the agreements that you have entered into.
  • We will always deal with your account in the way we believe is in your best interests.  This includes agreeing a payment plan which is tailored to your individual circumstances to help you reduce the amount you owe.
  • We provide additional support to those individuals who may be vulnerable.
  • It is also in the public interest for debts which are properly owed to be repaid. This is important for the economy as it helps to keep the cost of borrowing down and means that people continue to have access to credit. 

Why is it necessary?

If we don’t process your information, we can’t:

  • make sure we are dealing with the correct person
  • make sure that the information we hold about you is correct
  • collect the amounts that you owe
  • manage your account in the way that we believe is in your best interests
  • agree a payment plan with you which is tailored to your individual circumstances
  • provide you with additional support when you need it and
  • provide the credit reference agencies with accurate and up to date information about the amounts that you owe. 

What is the impact on you?

We collect, use and share your information as set out in this privacy notice, which means that we and the third parties we’ve told you about have access to your information. 

However, we are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority which means that we are required to act fairly, ethically and lawfully. 

We also minimise the impact on your data protection rights, interests and freedoms by:

  • making sure we comply with the data protection rules including the UK Data Protection Act and GDPR
  • only collecting the minimum amount of information we need to carry out our debt collection activities
  • having a retention policy to make sure that we don’t keep your information for any longer than we need it
  • carrying out data protection impact assessments to make sure that we identify any potential privacy risks and put appropriate measures in place to protect you from those risks
  • carrying out due diligence on the third parties we work with and making sure that we have contracts in place with those third parties to protect your personal information
  • providing you with this privacy notice which explains how we use your information, what your rights are and how to exercise them and
  • putting in place appropriate security measures to protect your information including have an ISO27001 certificate, which means that we meet the internationally recognised standards for managing risks to the security of the information we hold.

 

Account management, research, credit management solutions and product improvement

We also use your information to:

  • understand how you manage your account and the likelihood that you will repay the amounts you owe
  • understand how various factors (including psychological, demographic and economic factors) influence financial decision making, spending and saving behaviour and consumer credit dynamics
  • understand how our customers use our products and services and how we can develop and improve them
  • carry out market research to improve our customer service and
  • provide credit management solutions to our clients to help them manage the accounts that you have with them.

We also use your information to decide whether to purchase other accounts that you may have with other organisations.  This may involve us obtaining and sharing information about you with the Credit reference agencies and other third party data providers. 

For more information about the profiling we carry out as part of our market research, please see the section Do we carry out profiling and automated decision-making?

We have a legitimate interest in understanding how our customers’ manage their accounts and how they use our services so that we can (a) continually develop and improve our services (b) provide a better customer experience and (c) provide credit management solutions to our clients. As we process your information on the basis of legitimate interests, we must share with you our legitimate interest assessment of this use of your information:

What are the legitimate interests?

·         It is in our commercial interest to understand how you use your account and how likely you are to repay the amounts you owe, so we can decide the best way to manage your account.

 

·         It is in our commercial interest to understand how our customers behave and how they use our services so that we can develop and improve our products and services.

 

·         This is also in your interest as it helps us provide a better customer experience - the more we understand about you, the better equipped we are to tailor our approach to your individual needs.

 

·         It is in the public interest that legitimately-owed debts are repaid. This is important for the economy as it helps to keep the cost of borrowing down and promotes widespread access to credit.

 

·         It is in the public interest for companies to invest in research activities that advance our understanding of consumer finance and decision-making and share that knowledge to improve public policy.

 

·         It is also in the public interest that we better understand our customers and their needs, so that we can provider better products and services (in particular for customers who may be vulnerable and need additional support).

 

·         It is in the commercial interest of both our clients and Lowell for us to provide our clients with credit management solutions to help them manage the accounts that you have with them.

 

·         This is also in your interest when it helps our clients to make informed lending decisions and manage your account to ensure you have a better customer experience.

 

We may also use your information to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, for example:

  • the Financial Conduct Authority requires us to understand whether our customers may be vulnerable (including as a result of any physical or mental health conditions you may have) which may mean that you need additional support from us to manage your accounts
  • to comply with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation and for crime and fraud prevention.

 

We process and share your personal data with Cifas and other fraud prevention agencies on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in preventing fraud and money laundering and to verify your identity in order to protect our business and to comply with laws that apply to us.

Please see the sections Special categories of personal data and Information relating to criminal convictions for more details.

If you use our websites, please see our Website User privacy notice and our Cookie notice for details of the information we collect through our websites.

You do not have to give us any information or confirm that the information we have obtained from the third parties detailed in Where do we get your information from? is correct.

If you don’t provide us with relevant information, we may not be able to manage your account in the way that is best for you or agree a payment plan which is tailored to your needs.  The more we understand about your personal circumstances, the better equipped we are to offer suitable and affordable repayment plans and to provide you with any additional support you may need.

Special categories of personal data

Under the data protection rules, information revealing the following are “special categories of personal data”:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • genetic information
  • biometric information
  • information concerning health (including mental and physical health)
  • sex life or sexual orientation.

 

The Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) also requires us to treat customers fairly and to understand whether our customers may be vulnerable. A customer may be vulnerable if their personal circumstances mean that they are at greater risk of harm, for example they are in financial difficulties, they experience one or more major life events or they have a physical or mental health condition.

 

We only collect the minimum amount of information about any physical or mental health conditions you may have. We need to make sure:

  • we comply with the FCA’s requirements to treat you fairly and assess whether we believe you may be a vulnerable customer or whether you may need additional support from us
  • understand whether your condition has or may have an impact on your ability to pay the amounts you owe
  • we deal with your accounts in the way that we believe best suits your needs
  • we make sure that any payment plan which we agree with you is tailored to your circumstances
  • wherever possible, we communicate with you using your preferred method of communication and
  • we take any other steps we believe are necessary to deal with you fairly

 

Where you provide us with information relating to your health by telephone, we will obtain your explicit consent to record and process that information. You can withdraw your consent to us processing and storing this information at any time.

 

To withdraw your consent to Lowell Portfolio I Ltd and Lowell Financial Ltd processing information relating to your physical and mental health conditions, please contact our Data Protection Officer:

  • by email at dpo@lowellgroup.co.uk
  • by letter at Data Protection Officer, Lowell Financial Ltd, PO BOX 1411, Northampton, NN2 1BQ
  • by telephone - 0333 556 5550

 

If you withdraw your consent to us processing information about your physical and mental health conditions, it may prevent us from acting in your best interests, such as providing you with a payment plan which is appropriately tailored to your needs or offering you any additional support which you may need.   

 

If we believe you are in immediate danger, we may process information relating to your physical and mental health conditions (including sharing this information with the emergency services) on the basis that it may be a life and death situation.

 

If you send us information about your health conditions either by post or by email, we will use this information in the way that we’ve explained above on the basis that we need it to protect your economic well-being as you may be vulnerable or at economic risk due to your health conditions.

Information relating to criminal convictions

We may collect some limited information including information that is publicly accessible, such as media reports, about any current criminal convictions you may have (prison name, prison number, date of conviction and length of sentence) if we have reason to believe that you may be in prison.

 

We may also use publicly accessible information, for example through a Google search, to confirm that any information which we have been provided with about your criminal convictions is accurate.

 

We will use this for the purposes of updating the information we hold about you and managing your account.  We may also use this information for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention and for complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation.

 

We only collect the minimum amount of information about your current criminal convictions that we need to confirm and update the information we hold about you and to make sure that we:

  • deal with your accounts in the way that we believe best suits your needs
  • take any other steps we believe are necessary to deal with you fairly.

 

Where you (or someone authorised to act on your behalf) has provided us with the information, we use it on the basis that you have given us your consent to do so and you can withdraw your consent to us processing this information at any time.

 

To withdraw your consent to Lowell Portfolio I Ltd and Lowell Financial Ltd processing information about your criminal convictions, please contact our Data Protection Officer:

 

If you withdraw your consent to us processing information about your criminal convictions, it may prevent us from acting in your best interests, such as providing you with a payment plan which is appropriately tailored to your needs or offering you any additional support which you may need.

 

Where we collect publicly accessible information or someone else (who is not authorised by you) provides us with information about your criminal convictions, we use this information on the basis that we need it to deal with and make decisions about your account for the purposes of establishing and exercising our legal rights.

 

Where we use information about your criminal convictions and share it with third parties for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention, we do this on the basis that this is in the public interest.  Where we use this information and share it with third parties for the purposes of complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and other legislation, we do so on the basis that this is necessary for us to comply with our legal obligations.

Who do we share your information with?

We sometimes need to share some of your information with other organisations.

 

Information that we share with other companies in the Lowell group

We may share your information with other companies in the Lowell group:

  • if we instruct them to act on our behalf in connection with your account
  • for our internal administrative purposes
  • if we provide credit management solutions to help them manage the accounts you have with them and
  • including any company associated or otherwise connected with the Lowell group if we transfer your debt to them whether as part of a group reorganisation or otherwise.  If we transfer your debt to another member of the Lowell group, Lowell Financial Ltd will continue to manage your account on behalf of the new owner of your debt and your personal data will continue to be used and shared as set out in this privacy notice. 

For details of the UK companies in the Lowell group, please see the section Who are the Lowell group below.

Information that we share with third party debt collection agencies and law firms

If we instruct third party debt collection agencies and third party law firms to act on our behalf to recover the amount you owe, take legal action and enforce any judgments that we may have against you, we will share:

  • your name
  • your contact details (including your current and previous addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers)
  • your date of birth
  • details of your account with us and
  • financial information about you including your credit score, credit history and payment history, credit reference information, income and expenditure and any other details relating to your account with us and your ability to pay the amounts you owe 

Information that we share with credit reference agencies

We share the following information with the credit reference agencies,  Experian, Equifax and Callcredit:

  • your name
  • your contact details (including your current and previous addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers)
  • your date of birth
  • financial information that we hold about you and
  • details of your account with us.

We also report to the credit reference agencies on a monthly basis about the payments you make, whether your outstanding balance is reducing and the remaining balance, any payments you miss and details of any defaults. 

When you pay your account in full, any default will show as “satisfied”. If we agree to accept a discounted amount as settlement, any default will show as “partially satisfied”, when paid.  If we decide to close an account without having recovered the full outstanding balance, this will also be marked as “partially satisfied”.

The 3 CRAs listed above have put together an information notice which explains in more detail, how they each use and share personal information they receive about you, which is available at www.experian.co.uk/crain, www.equifax.co.uk/crain and www.transunion.com.

For more details about how we share information with the CRAs, please see our credit file information fact sheet.

Information that we share with third party data providers

We may also share information about you with third party data providers which are not credit reference agencies. 

We share:

  • your name
  • your contact details (including your current and previous addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers)
  • your gender and
  • your date of birth. 

to identify customers who have become bankrupt or insolvent or who are deceased and to confirm your contact details. 

Information that we may share with  fraud prevention agencies

We may become a member of a fraud prevention agency. If we do, we may share information with that organisation and other fraud prevention agencies for crime and fraud prevention and the apprehension and prosecution of offenders.

                             

If we identify evidence of fraud or any other financial crimes in relation to your account, including where you have been the victim of identity theft, we will share those details with the fraud prevention agencies to assist their other members and law enforcement to prevent, detect and disrupt fraud, money laundering and other types of financial crime.

 

If we, or a fraud prevention agency, determine that you pose a fraud or money laundering risk, a record of any fraud or money laundering risk will be retained by the fraud prevention agencies, and may result in others refusing to provide services, financing or employment to you.

 

Information that we share with law enforcement and emergency services

If we identify evidence of fraud, money laundering or any other financial crimes in relation to your account, including where you have been the victim of identity theft, we will share those details with the police, the National Crime Agency and other law enforcement agencies.  We may also share information with HM Revenue and Customs where appropriate.

If we believe you may be in immediate danger, we may share your information including details of your physical and mental health conditions with the police and other emergency services.

Information that we share with regulatory authorities and Ombudsman Services

We are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that we are required to report certain things to the Financial Conduct Authority which may mean sharing information about you if there is an issue or complaint in respect of your account.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and if you make a complaint to them, we may have to share information about you and your account.

We also deal with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Consumer Ombudsman Service and we may share information with them about you and your account in order to resolve your complaint. 

Information that we share with the Court

Where we take legal action and issue proceedings against you, we will share information about you, including your name, address, date of birth and details of your account with us with the Court for the purposes of the legal proceedings.

Information that we share with our clients

We may share some limited information with the previous owner of your account if we need to verify any of the information that they have provided us or if there is an issue with your account.

 

We may also share call recordings and information about your account with our clients and prospective clients for quality assurance purposes.

 

If we provide credit management solutions to companies to help them manage the accounts that you have with them, we will confirm and verify the information that they provide to us is accurate, complete and up to date. We may also share information such as your contact details and information about how you manage your account with us in order to help our clients manage the accounts you have with them.



Information that we share with our third party suppliers

We use a number of carefully selected third parties to supply us with other products and services, such as IT and mailing services.

The information that we share with our suppliers will depend on the nature of the products and services that they provide to us but we will only share the minimum amount of your information which is necessary for them to provide us with the products and services we need. 

We may also share your information (including your contact details) with third parties who carry out market research on our behalf to help us improve our customer service.

Information that we share with other third parties

If we or any member of the Lowell group of companies merges, transfers or sells part or all of its business or assets or any of the share capital of Lowell Portfolio I Ltd or Lowell Financial Ltd to a third party, your personal information may be disclosed to that third party and its advisers for the purposes of negotiating and completing the merger, transfer or sale.  If the merger, transfer or sale does complete, that third party may use or disclose your information as set out in this privacy notice.

We may also share your information with our insurers, lenders, legal and other professional advisers where necessary.

Where is your information stored?

Your information is generally stored on servers and filing systems in the UK but from time to time it may be stored in or accessed from countries outside the UK. Where this may happen, we always make sure that there are appropriate safeguards in place, such as the model contract clauses, binding corporate rules or the EU-US Privacy Shield, to guarantee that your information – and your rights – are protected to the same high standard as under UK law.

 

Model contract clauses

These are a set of standard clauses which have been recognised by the European Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office as providing adequate protection to personal information transferred outside the EEA.

When we include these clauses in a contract with one of the companies we work with, it means that if they transfer your information outside the EEA, they must make sure that your information is just as safe as it is in the EEA.

Binding corporate rules

These are a way for large groups of companies which are based in lots of countries around the world to transfer personal information to companies in their group in a way that complies with the EU data protection rules. The binding corporate rules must be approved by the European data protection authorities before the group of companies can adopt them. 

When one of the companies we work with uses binding corporate rules, it means that if they transfer your information outside the EEA, they have procedures in place to make sure that your information is handled in a way that makes sure that your information is just as safe as it is in the EU.

EU-US Privacy Shield

US companies can sign up to the Privacy Shield (which is overseen by the US Department of Commerce) to confirm that they have put in place procedures to make sure that adequate protection is provided to personal information which is transferred to the US.

You can find out more about the Privacy Shield and check whether a US company has signed up to the Privacy Shield at www.privacyshield.gov.

When one of the companies we work with is certified under the Privacy Shield, it means that they have confirmed to the US Department of Commerce that they have procedures in place to make sure that your information is just as safe as it is in the EU. 

How long do we keep your information for?

We only keep your information for as long as we need it and we will keep your information for no more than 7 years from the date you cease to have any active accounts with us.  We keep your information for this long so that we can:

  • deal with any issues or concerns that you may have about how we handled your account
  • to answer any questions HM Revenue and Customs may have
  • bring or defend any legal claims


However, we won’t keep all of your information for so long, and we will delete some information much sooner.


We have a retention policy which we have written considering all the different types of information that we hold about you, understanding how long we need to keep it for and agreeing not to keep it for any longer.

Do we carry out profiling and automated decision making?

Using the information that:

  • we collect from you about you and your accounts with us
  • we have obtained from the previous owner of your account and
  • we have obtained from the credit reference agencies and third party data providers

we use a mathematical model to predict, using your personal information and your credit history, how likely you are to pay your balance or respond to any type of communication.  This is known as profiling which means that we use our computer systems to help us predict this information about you. This helps us to decide what is likely to be the best way for us to work with you to manage your account.

 

As we have bought your account, we have a legitimate interest in understanding how likely you are to pay your balance or respond to our communications.

 

Where we process your information on the basis of our “legitimate interests”, the data protection rules say that we must make sure that our legitimate interests do not override your data protection interests, rights and freedoms. We must do this by carrying out a legitimate interest assessment which we must share with you. This is set out below.

 

What are the legitimate interests?

  • As we have bought your account, it is in our commercial interests to collect the amounts that you owe under the agreements that you have entered into and to understand the best way to do to this.
  • We will always deal with your account in the way we believe is in your best interests.  This includes agreeing a payment plan which is tailored to your individual circumstances to help you reduce the amount you owe. The profiling we carry out means that we understand more about your personal circumstances so we are better equipped to offer you suitable and affordable repayment plans.
  • It is also in the public interest for debts which are properly owed to be repaid. This is important for the economy as it helps to keep the cost of borrowing down and means that people continue to have access to credit. 

Why is it necessary?

If we don’t use your information, we can't: 

  • decide how best to manage your account
  • conduct our research activities, serving both public and commercial needs
  • tailor our approach to your individual needs
  • improve our products andservices
  • improve our customer service or
  • provide credit management solutions to our clients to help them manage the accounts that you have with them

What is the impact on you?

We collect, use and share your information as set out in this privacy notice, which means that we and the third parties we’ve told you about have access to your information.

However, we are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority which means that we are required to act fairly, ethically and lawfully.

We also minimise the impact on your data protection rights, interests and freedoms by:

  • making sure we comply with the data protection rules including the UK Data Protection Act and GDPR
  • only collecting the minimum amount of information we need to carry out our debt collection activities
  • having a retention policy to make sure that we don’t keep you information for any longer than we need it
  • carrying out data protection impact assessments to make sure that we identify any potential privacy risks and put appropriate measures in place to protect you from those risks
  • carrying out due diligence on the third parties we work with and making sure that we have contracts in place with those third parties to protect your personal information
  • providing you with this privacy notice which explains how we use your information, what your rights are and how to exercise them and
  • putting in place appropriate security measures to protect your information including have an ISO27001 certificate, which means that we meet the internationally recognised standards for managing risks to the security of the information we hold.

 

You have a right to object to profiling. This means that we will not be able to use your information for profiling unless we can demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to do so or the profiling is necessary for us to establish or exercise our legal rights.

 

If you do not repay the amounts you owe us, we may use automated decision-making processes to decide what the most appropriate way to manage your account is, including:

  • whether we should take legal action against you, such as instructing solicitors to issue court proceedings or apply for a county court judgment (CCJ) against you and
  • what action we should take to enforce any CCJ we obtain against you, such as applying for a warranty, an attachment of earnings or any other enforcement method available to us.

 

Using our systems in this way helps us to make sure that our decisions are quick, fair, efficient and accurate based on the information that we have about you.  We make decisions in this way on the basis that it is necessary for the performance of a contract you are a party to, which means that we need to do this in order for us to collect the amounts you owe but haven’t paid under the agreements you entered into with the original owner of your account.

 

If we do take legal action against you, you may be asked to provide information to the court, attend court in person or you may incur legal costs. The court may decide in our favour and a CCJ may be entered against you.

 

We will also report details about the action we have taken to the credit reference agencies and this may have a negative impact on your credit score and your ability to borrow or get credit in the future.

 

We have processes in place to:

  • check that the information that we hold about you and use for making automated decisions is accurate and up to date and
  • test the credit scoring methods and the mathematical model we use on a regular basis to make sure that they are fair, effective and unbiased.

 

You have the right to ask us to review any automated decisions we have made about you.

 

If you would like to exercise any of your rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer by writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Financial Ltd, PO BOX 1411, Northampton, NN2 1BQ.

What rights do you have?

Under the data protection rules, you have a number of rights in respect of your information and the way we use it. Some of these rights only apply in certain situations. We explain below what rights you have, what these mean and how they apply to the way we use your information.

 

You have the right to

What does this mean?

How does this apply to the way we use your information? 

Access your information

You can ask for:

  • confirmation that we process your personal information
  • a copy of your personal information that we hold and
  • other information about how we process your information.

 

We will provide you with a copy of your personal information which we hold unless the data protection rules provide an exception that decide to rely on, for example where there are ongoing court proceedings. We may also edit out the names of any other individuals to protect their privacy.

Wherever possible, we will provide you with a copy of your personal information in the same manner you make your request unless we agree otherwise with you.

This privacy notice also includes the other information you can ask for about how we process your information. 

Have your information rectified

You can ask us to rectify your information if it is not accurate, complete or up to date.

 

We will update or correct your information, although sometimes we may need to ask you to provide evidence to confirm the changes, for example a copy of your marriage certificate if you are changing your name because you have got married. 

Have your information erased

This is also known as the right to be forgotten.

You can ask us to delete your information where:

  • we no longer need it
  • we rely on your consent to use your information and you withdraw it
  • you object to our processing it and we have no overriding legitimate grounds to continue processing it or
  • we are legally required to delete it.

This right does not apply where: 

  • we are legally required to keep your information, for example under the anti-money laundering laws
  • we have a compelling legitimate ground for using your personal information or
  • we need your information to establish, exercise or defend legal claims, for example where there are ongoing court proceedings.

As we rely on legitimate interests for most processing of your personal information, we will only be able to delete your personal information:

  • if you withdraw consent for us to use information about your physical and mental health or criminal convictions which you provided to us by telephone. If you withdraw your consent to us using this information, it may prevent us from acting in your best interests, such as providing you with a payment plan which is appropriately tailored to your needs or offering you any additional support which you may need. Please see Special categories of personal data and Information relating to criminal convictions for more details.
  • if you object to our processing your personal information and to carry out your request we have to erase your information and
  • where we no longer need your information. Although our retention policy means that we will delete your information once we no longer need it. Please see How long do we keep your information? for more details.

Restrict our processing of your information

You may ask us to restrict our processing of your personal information where:

  • you believe the information we hold about you is inaccurate while we check whether it is accurate
  • we no longer need your information but you need it to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim or
  • you object to our processing your personal information while we reconsider our legitimate interests assessment.

We will not process your personal information whilst we consider your request. However, we will still be able to process your personal information for the purposes of any ongoing court or other legal proceedings.

We will inform you if we begin processing your personal information again and explain why.

 

Have your information transferred to you and/or a third party

This is also known as the right to data portability.

You can ask us to provide you with a copy of the information which you have provided to us and which we hold electronically.

This right only applies to the information about your physical and mental health and criminal convictions which you provided to us by telephone and which we use with your consent.

We will provide this information to you in a commonly-used and machine readable format. 

Object to our processing of your information, including profiling

You can object to our use of your information, including profiling unless:

  • we have compelling legitimate grounds for using your information or
  • we need to use your information to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim, for example where there are ongoing court proceedings. 

You can also object to us using your information for marketing purposes.

We use profiling to make sure that we manage your account in the way that is in your best interests.

If we were to stop using your information for profiling, we may not be able to provide you with the same level of customer service or tailor our approach to your personal circumstances in the same way.

 

Not to be subject to an automated decision

You can ask us to review any automated decision which has a legal or significant effect for you. You can provide us with your point of view and any additional information that you think we need and ask for a human to reconsider our decision.

You can ask us to reconsider any automated decision we have made about whether to take legal action against you or about the type of action we are taking to enforce our legal rights to collect the amounts you owe.

 

We will always do our best to respond to your request within one month of receiving it and any additional information we need to confirm your identity and understand your request.

 

However, sometimes we may need some more time to deal with your request, particularly if it is complicated.  Where this happens, we will write to you within one month and let you know why we need some more time and when we will provide you with our response.

 

If we are unable to carry out your request, we will send you a response explaining why. 

 

If you would like to exercise any of your rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer by writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Financial Ltd, PO Box 1411, Northampton, NN2 1BQ.

 

Our Data Protection Officer deals with data protection for all our UK companies, so whichever Lowell company your question, query or request relates to, please contact our Data Protection Officer using these contact details.

What if you have a complaint?

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about the way either Lowell Portfolio I Ltd or Lowell Financial Ltd process your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer in the first instance by writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Financial Ltd, PO BOX 1411, Northampton, NN2 1BQ and they will do their very best to help you.

 

Our Data Protection Officer deals with data protection for all our UK companies, so whichever Lowell company your question, concern or complaint relates to, please contact our Data Protection Officer using these contact details.

 

If you are not happy with the way we have handled your complaint or are still concerned about our handling of your personal information, you have a right to take your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF and www.ico.org.uk.

Who are the Lowell group?

The Lowell group is made up of the following companies incorporated in the UK

 

Lowell Finance Ltd Company number 05069513
Lowell Portfolio I Ltd Company number 04857418
Lowell Financial Ltd Company number 04558936
Lowell Solicitors Limited Company number 08647091
Fredrickson International Limited Company number 02679522
Lowell Receivables Financing 1 Limited Company number 11344999
Interlaken Group Limited Company number 03167536
SRJ Debt Recoveries Limited Company number 05064551
Tocatto Ltd Company number 05069843
Lowell Portfolio III Holdings Limited Company number 08336897
Lowell Portfolio III Limited Company number 08096778
Lowell Portfolio IV Holdings Limited Company number 08647094
Lowell Portfolio IV Limited Company number 08654105
Changes to this notice

We will regularly review this notice and keep it updated to make sure that the information we provide you with is accurate and up to date.

 

Any changes to this notice will be highlighted so that you can see what has been changed.  

 

Where we have made a significant change to the information contained in this notice, we will let you know either by email if we have an email address for you or in the next letter that we send you.

 

This notice was last reviewed and updated in May 2018.