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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: introduction: business by telephone

Debt Management is moving towards conducting more business by telephone and less by unnecessary written correspondence as we move into the future.

‘Business By Telephone’ (BBT) is a term originally heard in the call centres but is now being used in DM. It is used to describe the process of accepting certain information by telephone and providing specific information by telephone. It does not include enquiries where the caller is simply seeking general advice.

BBT should only be conducted after the identity of the caller has been satisfactorily verified. If you are not satisfied that the caller is who they claim to be or that they are entitled to conduct the business at issue, politely terminate the call by asking the caller to put their request in writing to the appropriate Campaign office. You can refer to the DMB Campaigns intranet site for a list of the ongoing campaigns where you can obtain the current correspondence address for each campaign and HoD. If this is not available, you can visit the DMB contact details page to view the head of duty campaign Single Point of Contact (SPoC) office address instead.

Once verification of identity has been satisfactorily established you may proceed to conduct business by telephone. The extent to which you can accept and provide information by telephone depends on:

  • who you are talking to
  • in the case of third parties, the extent to which you hold evidence of consent for them to act on the customers behalf.

Guidance on who you can do business with and how to be assured they are who they claim to be can be found at DMBM512800.