12 Jan 2023 | Posted In Bob's Blog (MALG updates), Money advice news

Happy New Year from Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG)! With ‘Blue Monday’ fast approaching and the cost of living crisis still deepening we know that for many, 2023 may not be very happy, which is why we must continue ‘working together to improve the lives of people in debt’. We hope you’ll join us at some of the upcoming opportunities to do so…

MALG National Members Meeting 9 February 2023

With so many new MALG Members on board, our quarterly National Members Meetings are set to get even bigger and better so make sure you’re taking advantage of this free Member benefit – or find out about joining MALG if you’re not already a Member.

The agenda for the next National Members Meeting held via Zoom on Thursday 9 February, is as follows:

  • 10:15 -10:30:    Arrival and Networking
  • 10:30 -10:45:   Welcome to all, guests and new representatives – Bob Winnington, CEO – MALG
  • 10.45 – 11.30:   A Collaborative Approach – Emma Gibbons, Vulnerability Lead – PayPlan and Raminta Diliso, Financial Harm Manager – GamCare
  • 11.30 – 12.00:   Near Miss Loans – Cath Wohlers, LIAISE Manager, and Trish Cassidy – England Illegal Money Lending Team
  • 12.00 – 12.10:   Comfort Break
  • 12.10 – 12.40:   Experian Support Hub Update – Paul Lamont, Product Director, Consumer Information Services – Experian
  • 12.40 – 12.45:  Summary, AOB and Close

National Members will receive an email invitation with registration link soon, please email info@malg.org.uk if you do not receive it. Also, feel free to email us if you are not already a National Member and would like to attend as a guest to experience a taster session.Following the Conference feedback survey we are aware that there are some key topics people are keen to hear more about this year, please let us know if you have other suggestions for topics and speakers using the form on this page of our website.

Future dates:

  • 11 May (venue tbc)
  • 13 July (immediately after AGM, venue tbc)
  • 21 September (via Zoom)

MALG Members Friday Forum 2023 – new password

Thanks to extended sponsorship from PRA Group, the MALG Friday Forum will continue on a fortnightly basis from 13 January 2023. All that will change is a new password to access the new Zoom link and latest resources. Those who are eligible should have received it, if not, please email info@malg.org.uk before the first session.
Tim Kirk, Country Operations Director, PRA Group UK, says:

“PRA Group is proud to sponsor MALG’s virtual Friday Fortnightly Forum for a third consecutive year. The Forum continues to grow and evolve, providing a popular positive platform to share best practices and collaborate with industry peers across all financial services sectors. It’s more important in these constantly changing economic times that we continue to improve the lives of people in debt by working together and raise our collective service standards and customer understanding.” 

MALG CEO Bob Winnington adds:

“Without PRA Group’s continued support we’d be unable to maintain the MALG Friday Forum as a fortnightly event. We had no idea when we set it up in March 2020 in direct response to the Covid-19 lockdown that there would still be such a strong appetite for it amongst our Members almost three years on, but it has become a vital means of ‘working together to improve the lives of people in debt’ (MALG’s aim) as we navigate unprecedented challenges post-pandemic through such economic turmoil. The frank, timely, topical conversations had between debt advisers, creditors, collections professionals and other stakeholders make a real difference and we are proud to be able to continuing facilitating them.”

Whether you’re a regular, have attended before, or are a National or Regional Member who’s yet to take advantage of this member benefit, we would be delighted to welcome you on screen this year. If you want to share or discuss any particularly pressing topics, you can either join the forum and raise your virtual hand, or please email us on info@malg.org.uk in advance and we can arrange for you to introduce your topic to the room yourself.

Full details, including joining instructions and future dates, can be found here. On 27 January, Mick McAteer, who was called on by the BBC as a commentator following the announcement that the Government was opening up a consultation into the Reform of the Consumer Credit Act will be joining us to lead the debate on this key topic.

IRRV Yorkshire & District and Northern Counties: Cost of Living Full Day event event 26 January

MALG CEO Bob Winnington has been invited by Ascendant Solutions to speak at the upcoming IRRV Yorkshire & District and Northern Counties full day event focused on the Cost of Living Crisis in Leeds on 26 January 2023.

Bob will be talking about why MALG’s aim of ‘working together to improve the lives of people in debt’ is so important in times of crisis and the role collaboration across the sector plays. Other speakers include Helen White of Newlyn, Helen Addis of Bristow & Sutor, Sarah Naylor of Dukes Bailiffs, Richard Hanby of Ascendant Solutions, Sean Sutton of Voicescape and Carole Kenney of CDER Group.

Local Authority staff can register to attend for free (including lunch and refreshments) here and commercial professionals can attend for a small fee. Contact the Yorkshire & District Exec Secretary Darren.Kelk@ascendantsol.co.uk.

Illegal Lending and Debt Advice Study – adviser input required

As you my have already seen on our social media channels and website, The Centre for Social Justice is conducting a study into illegal lending and debt advice alongside a board comprised of the Money and Pensions Service, and debt advice agencies across the UK. The study is seeking to survey advisers to build insight and inform new guidance to support them. Debt advisers are encouraged to complete it here with the chance to win one of four £50 vouchers in a prize draw.

MALG Regional Meetings update

Remember, if you are a National Member, you have access to all of our Regional Group Meetings. Please ensure you email us with your preferences should you wish to amend any regions specified on your original application and take full advantage of this membership benefit.

Details of all upcoming Regional Meetings, including MALG North West on 18 Jan via Zoom (theme: ‘Buy Now Pay Later: Friend or Foe?’), can be found here. You can also suggest topics and speakers for them using the form here.If you are currently not receiving regular invites to regional meetings and think you should be or want to be, please contact info@malg.org.uk to ensure you are on the mailing list for the relevant regions. Should you wish to contact a particular regional secretary, please use the following addresses: