Customer Details Form

Thomas Coward made this Freedom of Information request to Student Loans Company Limited

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Student Loans Company Limited,

1. Based on information you have stored please state why you believe you are privy to the following information from customers, either under UK law, regulation or Statutory Instrument:
a) Allows you to compel a customer to give you their bank statement.
b) Allows you to compel a third party of a customer to sign a third party declaration.
c) Allows you to compel a customer to sign and date the customer details form.

2. Please provide information on the following of how, when and why a penalty or charge would be issued against a customer for and what Statutory instrument, regulation or UK law allows you to do:
a) Not providing their bank statement.
b) Not returning a signed and dated customer details form.
c) Not returning a signed and dated third party declaration.

3) The letters that you send out to customers contain their full name, address, date of birth, national insurance number and also indicate that they are likely not employed. Please provide the information how you keep this data secure and processed inline with the Data Protection Act 1998.

4) Please provide the amount of court claims instigated against the student loans company between 2009 till now, please provide this as a yearly figure.

5) Please provide the amount of court claims the students loan company has instigated against customers between 2009 till now, please provide this as a yearly figure.

6) Please provide a yearly breakdown from 2009 till now, of how many complaints you have received relating to CNCD (Confirmation of Customer Details Form).

7) Please provide a yearly breakdown of the amount and cost of penalties, charges or fines issued against customers between 2009 till now.

8) Please provide copies of the terms and conditions for a student loan for each year from 2009 till 2017.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Coward

FOI Requests, Student Loans Company Limited

Dear Mr Coward

Thank you for your email dated 29/06/2017

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”).

Your request has been allocated reference 122-17.

We will respond to you under the terms of the FOIA and within 20 working
days.

We will contact you further for clarification of your request if this is
considered necessary.  

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

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FOI Requests, Student Loans Company Limited

Dear Mr Coward

On progressing your request we have identified that your request taken as
a whole would likely lead to it being refused under the appropriate costs
limit exemption.  We would be grateful if you could confirm if you would
be happy to accept as much information as possible that we have been able
to identify and collate within the costs limit.

Also, for question 8, you have asked for the terms and conditions for each
year since 2009.  As you may be aware, student finance, therefore terms
and conditions, differ between each UK domicile.  If you could specify if
you are interested in a particular UK domicile so we can provide you with
the most relevant information if we hold this.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

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Dear Student Loans Company ,

Multiple requests within a single item of correspondence are separate requests for the purpose of section 12. This was confirmed by the Information Tribunalin the case of Ian Fitzsimmons v ICO & Department for Culture, Media and Sport (EA/2007/0124, 17 June 2008).

Do not attempt to aggregate my multi part request into one request. Treat each part of the request separately and provide as much information while staying within the appropriate limit for each request.

Regarding the terms and conditions, please provide the ones for permanent UK residents.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Coward

FOI Requests, Student Loans Company Limited

18 Attachments

Dear Mr Coward

I refer to your recent email dated 29/06/2017 requesting the following
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”):

“1. Based on information you have stored please state why you believe you
are privy to the following information from customers, either under UK
law, regulation or Statutory Instrument:
a) Allows you to compel a customer to give you their bank statement.
b) Allows you to compel a third party of a customer to sign a third party
declaration.
c) Allows you to compel a customer to sign and date the customer details
form.

2. Please provide information on the following of how, when and why a
penalty or charge would be issued against a customer for and what
Statutory instrument, regulation or UK law allows you to do:
a) Not providing their bank statement.
b) Not returning a signed and dated customer details form.
c) Not returning a signed and dated third party declaration.

3) The letters that you send out to customers contain their full name,
address, date of birth, national insurance number and also indicate that
they are likely not employed. Please provide the information how you keep
this data secure and processed inline with the Data Protection Act 1998.

4) Please provide the amount of court claims instigated against the
student loans company between 2009 till now, please provide this as a
yearly figure.

5) Please provide the amount of court claims the students loan company has
instigated against customers between 2009 till now, please provide this as
a yearly figure.

6) Please provide a yearly breakdown from 2009 till now, of how many
complaints you have received relating to CNCD (Confirmation of Customer
Details Form).

7) Please provide a yearly breakdown of the amount and cost of penalties,
charges or fines issued against customers between 2009 till now.

8) Please provide copies of the terms and conditions for a student loan
for each year from 2009 till 2017.”

Response

I can confirm that the Student Loans Company Limited (“SLC”) holds the
majority, but not all, of the information which falls within the scope of
your request.  Please refer to the response to each individual question
for specific details of what is held and not held.

We note that you refer to the Information Tribunal decision in the case of
Ian Fitzsimmons –v- ICO & Department for Culture, Media and Sport
(EA/2007/0124) and your assertion that each separate question submitted in
your email of 29/06/2017 constitutes a separate request for information,
and that we should treat each part of your request separately.  We
disagree with your views for the following reasons:

* you have submitted one request with the subject title of “Confirmation
of Customer Details Form” as opposed to six separate requests;
* questions 1,2, 3, 6 and 7 relate to the Confirmation of Customer
Details Form or complaints in relation thereto;
* question 8 relates to student loan terms and conditions.  While this
appears to be a stand-alone question and not linked to any of your
other questions, this question can be linked to the overarching theme
under questions 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7;  
* questions 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 have therefore been aggregated in
accordance with the conditions laid out in the Freedom of Information
and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (the
“2004 Fees Regulations”); and
* questions 4 and 5 do not specifically relate to the COCD form, but
both relate to the instigation of legal proceedings.  These two
questions have been aggregated in accordance with the conditions laid
out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (the “2004 Fees Regulations”).

Taking questions 1,2, 3, 6 , 7 and 8 as aggregated requests, for  the
information which is held,  in consultation with the appropriate
departments within SLC, I have concluded that this information cannot be
released as the cost of complying with your request would exceed the
appropriate limit set out in the 2004 Fees Regulations.  The limit
applying to SLC is £450 or 2.5 days (calculated to be 18 hours of staff
time at £25 per hour).  

By way of explanation, question 6 alone would exceed 18 hours of staff
time to answer.  A full explanation is provided below under question 6.
 By way of advice and assistance, we have answered as many questions as
fully as possible within the appropriate costs limit.  

As we would consider questions 4 and 5 to be separate for the purposes of
calculating the cost of complying with your request under the 2004 Fees
Regulations, these questions have been answered in full below.

Question 1 – Requesting information from customers
Regulation 23(2) of the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations
2009 ([1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/...), as
amended (the “2009 Repayment Regulations”), covers “Information Notices”.
 These are issued by SLC in the form of Confirmation of Customer Details
and Overseas Income Assessment forms.  These forms are also known as the
COCD or CNCD form and the OVFA form.  Regulation 23(2)(g) (introduced into
the 2009 Repayment Regulations by Regulation 3 of the Education (Student
Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014) provides that:

“(2) An Information Notice under paragraph (1) may require the borrower to
provide some or all of the following, together with documentary evidence
in support where relevant—
(g) such other information about the borrower's financial position as may
be required to determine whether the borrower is in receipt of any
income".

The above provision covers the request for bank statements.  It does not
cover the requirement for either the customer or the third party to sign
and date the form.  However, it is a standard requirement of any form
containing information which an individual is declaring to be accurate to
require that individual’s signature and the date thereof.  SLC requires
customers to provide sufficient information to establish their eligibility
to repay their student loans, and as such requires the COCD form to be
signed and dated.  

Question 2 – penalties and charges
Regulation 24 of the 2009 Repayment Regulations (which can be found at
[2]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/... ) sets
out the details of how, why and when a penalty may be issued for failing
to comply with an Information Notice.   This Regulation applies to both
plan 1 and plan 2 student loan borrowers.

In addition, for plan 2 student loan borrowers, failure to comply with
specified Regulations, including Regulation 23 relating to Information
Notices, can result in a non-compliance interest rate being applied under
Regulation 21A(4).  Details of non-compliance interest are exempt from
disclosure under section 21(1) of the FOIA as this information is
reasonably accessible to you by other means.  Please refer to our response
to FOI request 87-17 dated 09/06/2017 which can be found on the SLC FOI
Disclosure Log at
[3]http://www.slc.co.uk/freedom-of-informat....

Question 3 – Data protection
In terms of keeping this information secure, the correspondence is issued
to the address held on SLC systems for the customer in question.    

It is not clear if you are seeking to receive a justification about
processing the stated information in line with each and every Data
Protection Principle, however we can confirm the following:
·        the full name and address is required to be included on all
correspondence issued to customers, otherwise it would not reach the
intended recipient;
·        in respect of the date of birth and NINO, this information is
included in the correspondence to verify that this information is correct
to ensure that SLC is able to match customers to employment records with
HMRC; and
·        the employment information is included as this is based on
information provided by HMRC.

The Third Data Protection Principle provides that “personal data shall be
adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose of
purposes for which they are processed”.  The Fourth Data Protection
Principle provides that “personal data shall be accurate, and where
necessary, kept up to date”.  The date of birth and NINO are included on
the COCD to ensure that these are accurate, as this information is used to
match customers to HMRC records.  Over and above the customer’s name,
address and Customer Reference Number, only the information which SLC
requires to ensure is accurate is included on the COCD form.  We believe
this to be compliant with the Third and Fourth Data Protection Principles.
 

The Seventh Data Protection Principle provides that “appropriate technical
and organizational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or
unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or
destruction of, or damage to, personal data”.  Forms are sent to the named
customer at the address held on SLC records, which is compliant with the
Seventh Data Protection Principle.

Question 4 – Court claims instigated against SLC
This question has been interpreted as court claims where legal proceedings
have been formally issued in any UK jurisdiction and SLC has been named as
a Defendant.  Proposed legal claims where proceedings have not been
formally issued have not been included.   Judicial Review claims where SLC
has been named as an Interested Party but not as a Defendant have been
excluded.  
       

Year Number Notes
2009 4  
2010 9  
2011 6  
2012 15 2 separate claims issued by the same individual re
the same matter
3 separate claims issued by the same individual re
the same matter.  
2013 14
2 separate claims issued by another individual re
the same matter.  
3 claims issued in this year issued by the same
individual, re a matter previously raised in a 2013
claim.  

4 separate claims consolidated into 1 have been
2014 20 counted as 1 claim - this claim was not issued
against SLC but SLC was ordered to be joined as a
defendant by the court.  

2 claims issued in this year were issued by the same
individual as 1 claim issued in 2013, re the same
issues.
1 claim issued by the same individual re the same
issues as 3 other claims (2 issued in 2014 and 1 in
2015 13 2013).  

2 claims issued by the same individual re the same
underlying issues, albeit for different remedies.
2016 12  
2017 (to date) 8  

Additional notes have been added to the figures as some individuals have
raised formal legal proceedings against SLC relating to the same issues up
to four times.  In addition, there were 4 separate claims issued against
another party, with SLC being joined in as a Defendant by the court.  By
this stage, the claim was proceeding as a consolidated claim, and not four
separate claims therefore this has only been counted as one claim.

Question 5  - Court actions instigated against customers
The table below covers all court actions formally raised in UK and
overseas jurisdictions against SLC customers.  Over the relevant
timeframe, SLC has issued legal proceedings against Mortgage Style
customers who failed to repay or defer repayments, Income Contingent
Repayment borrowers who have moved overseas, and UK resident customers
with grant overpayments.  

Year Number of legal proceedings
issued by SLC against customers
2009 9
2010 297
2011 0
2012 2
2013 0
2014 50
2015 156
2016 58
2017 (to date) 1

Question 6 - Complaints about COCD Form
Please note that full complaints data for the period 2009 to 31/03/2010 is
no longer held by SLC.  Complaints data is held in varying levels from
April 2010 onwards.  In May 2012 the SLC complaints categorisations and
database were updated to allow for better collection and feedback of
complaints to the business. These categories were updated further in April
2014.

Complaints data is routinely requested under FOI, and subsequently
published on our FOI Disclosure Log on a financial year basis.  Complaints
about the COCD form for financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15 is exempt from
disclosure under section 21(1) of the FOIA as this information is
considered reasonably accessible to you by other means.  Please refer to
the complaints data released on 13/02/2017 (FOI reference 09-17) on the
SLC FOI Disclosure Log at
[4]http://www.slc.co.uk/freedom-of-informat....
 

From April 2014 onwards, there is no single complaint sub-category that
would identify all complaints about the COCD form.   The COCD form is part
of the Repayment Confirmation/Assessment Pack (“RCLAFP”), which contains
both the COCD and OVFA forms, and the complaint sub-category of RCLAFP
would include complaints about both COCD and OVFA forms.  The previously
released complaints data, and the more recent complaints data released
under FOI reference 113-17 (also available at the FOI Disclosure Log link)
shows complaints recorded as “RCLAFP/R”.  Within the appropriate costs
limit it would not be possible to review complaints recorded as RCLAFP to
establish if the complaint was specific to the COCD or the OVFA form.
 There are also other complaints categories that could relate to COCD
forms, including ICR Policy, specifically being required to provide
evidence of employment, support or unemployment.  However, these
complaints may or may not be specifically in relation to the COCD form
itself.  There are also other complaints reasons that could relate to a
COCD complaint such as failing to update the information on the COCD form
timeously or correctly.  Please review the complaints data already
published under FOI request 09-17 and how complaints are now recorded.  If
you wish to receive any additional complaints data please advise SLC of
the specific issue relating to the COCD forms, and we can progress this as
a new request for information.

Question 7 – penalties, charges and fines
As mentioned above in our response to question 2, Regulation 24 of the
2009 Repayment Regulations provides for the levying of penalties in
certain and prescribed circumstances.   While SLC does have the power to
charge penalties in certain circumstances, we can confirm that no such
penalties under Regulation 24 have been charged to date.

In terms of non-compliance interest, please refer to the data released
with our response to FOI request 87-17 referred to in our response to
question 2 above.  This confirms the number of plan 2 borrowers who have
had the non-compliance interest rate applied and the total amount of
interest applied at the non-compliance interest rate.  Please note that
this is not additional interest applied for failing to respond to
correspondence or provide evidence, rather the total amount of interest
applied at the non-compliance rate.  The plan 2 borrowers concerned would
be subject to paying interest in any event, although this could well be at
a lower plan 2 interest rate depending on their earnings (plan 2 interest
rates are published at
[5]http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk/po...).
 Within the appropriate costs limit it is not possible to calculate the
additional amount of NCR applied to these plan 2 borrowers.  

Question 8 – terms and conditions
As advised in my email of 21/07/2017, student loan terms and conditions
differ between each UK domicile.  You confirmed in your email of
22/07/2017 that you wished to receive the terms and conditions for
“permanent UK residents”.  This therefore covers the student loan terms
and conditions across the whole of the UK.  The period 2009 to present
covers academic years 2008/09 to 2017/18.

Student loans are made under specific terms, which include statutory
terms.  The student declaration forms signed by student finance applicants
provide a summary of the main loan terms and conditions, and the forms for
England, Wales and Northern Ireland contain the following provisions:

 Student Finance England –
“I acknowledge and agree that any loan(s) made to me by the Secretary of
State, "the lender" (which includes any persons exercising functions on
behalf of the Secretary of State pursuant to section 23(4) of the Teaching
and Higher Education Act 1998 as amended from time to time or successor
legislation, "the Act") will be on the terms set out in the Loan Request
Form including these declarations and in Regulations which are made under
section 22 of the Act as amended from time to time.”

Student Finance Wales -
“I acknowledge and agree that any loan(s) made to me by the Welsh
Ministers, ‘the lender’ (which includes any persons exercising functions
on behalf of the Welsh Ministers pursuant to section 23(4) of the Teaching
and Higher Education Act 1998 ‘the Act’) will be on the terms set out in
these declarations and in Regulations which are made under section 22 of
the Act as amended from time to time. I undertake to repay the lender any
loan(s) made to me, together with all and any interest, penalties and
charges which apply.”

Student Finance Northern Ireland -
I acknowledge and agree that any loan(s) made to me by the Department for
the Economy (which includes any person exercising functions on behalf of
the Department for the Economy, together with any successor(s) thereto
(the “lender”) pursuant to Article 4 (3) of the Education (Student
Support) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (as amended) and/ or successor
legislation, (‘the Order’)) will be on the terms set out in the Loan
Request Form including these declarations and in Regulations which are
made under Article 3 of the Order.

The statutory terms are all available on the government’s
[6]www.legislation.gov.uk website, therefore exempt from disclosure under
section 21(1) of the FOIA as this information is considered reasonably
accessible to you by other means.  For ease of reference, please refer to
Annex A which includes details of which Regulations were applicable to
each academic year from 2008/09 onwards, and links thereto.

The student declaration forms contain more or less the same clauses for
different loan products each academic year.  Without going through each
and every application and loan request form over a period of 10 academic
years for each different loan product, the declaration form for full-time
loans are referred to below.

A considerable number of the student finance application forms which
include the student declaration form are also in the public domain and are
therefore exempt from disclosure under section 21(1) of the FOIA as this
information is considered reasonably accessible to you by other means.
 Please refer to Annex B for links to where these forms can be found on
the internet.  Where forms are not available on the internet, the student
declaration forms have been attached to this response, with the exception
of forms produced by the Student Awards Agency of Scotland (“SAAS”).  SLC
does not produce forms on behalf of SAAS, therefore does not hold this
information.  Should you require SAAS loan applications for any years
which are not publicly available, please contact SAAS directly (email
[7][email address]).

Internal review process

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within three months of the
date of receipt of the response to your original request and should be
addressed to the Freedom of Information Office, Student Loans Company
Limited, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD,   Email:
[SLC request email].  Please remember to quote the reference number
above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House  
Water Lane  
Wilmslow  
Cheshire  
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

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Dear Student Loans Company Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Student Loans Company Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Customer Details Form'.

You state: "It does not cover the requirement for either the customer or the third party to sign and date the form. However, it is a standard requirement of any form
containing information which an individual is declaring to be accurate to require that individual’s signature and the date thereof. "

It seems to me that the aforementioned 'standard requirement' that a form should be signed and dated is an opinion of the Student Loans Company rather than any UK law. Do you agree?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Coward

FOI Requests, Student Loans Company Limited

Dear Mr Coward

Your request for an internal review has been allocated reference IR06-17.

We aim to respond to internal review requests within 20 working days.

A substantive response will be issued in due course.

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

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FOI Requests, Student Loans Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Coward

Please find attached a response to your recent request for an internal
review.

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

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