05 Nov 2020 | Posted In Bob's Blog (MALG updates)

The MALG Virtual Summit may be over but, at a time when ‘working together to improve the lives of people in debt’ is more important than ever, we’re certainly not slowing down here at MALG!

We have a LOT to update you on…

NEW MALG Membership structureThe existing MALG Membership structure was established four years ago as part of our strategy to professionalise and bring more structure to our proposition and ensure that MALG was ‘fit for the future’.

MALG is a deliberately lean and agile organisation so that it can continuously evolve in line with the ever-changing landscape in the UK. Our focus is always on our aim of ‘working together to improve the lives of people in debt’ from our position with no regulatory, commercial or political agenda, and our membership proposition is designed to enable this to happen in the most effective way.

In March 2020, we faced our biggest challenge yet: How could a membership organisation whose key proposition is face-to-face events remain relevant at a time when not only was this not possible, but our unique collaborative forum had become more vital than ever for Members and the vulnerable people they serve?

We rose to the challenge and not only quickly transformed our existing events programme to make it virtual, but also introduced new opportunities for Members to engage in open, non-judgemental discussion on the most current issues as they unfolded during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been blown away by the success of and appetite for our MALG Members Friday Forum and MALG Virtual Summit and they will now no doubt become a long-term feature of our work. We’ve also seen increased attendance at and engagement with our regular National and Regional Members Meetings in their new virtual format. Of course, as soon as it is safe to physically meet, we will make this happen, especially when it comes to the MALG Conference.

In response to the unprecedented situation we all now find ourselves in, and the new membership benefits we are now able to offer to a more diverse range of Members than we have ever had, we felt it was time to streamline our membership packages to offer best value for money and maximum return on investment.

To keep things simple, we now have just three membership packages:

  • National Membership – for trade bodies, associations and commercial businesses including debt collection agencies, enforcement agents, commercial advice providers, creditors, and technology providers.
  • Affiliate Membership – for independent charities, individuals, sole traders, regulators and Government departments.
  • Regional membership – for local branches of money advice organisations and commercial organisations with a regional-only presence.

The graphic below illustrates the extensive list of benefits available to National and Affiliate Members and more information on membership pricing and application can be found on our website here. Current Members will be offered the appropriate new membership package for their organisation in advance of their next renewal date.

Despite limited budgets and restrictions, we have continued consistently securing new Members throughout 2020 and already have several organisations interested in our new membership packages. The retention and growth of our membership is for the benefit of all as the larger our network, the more we can achieve together. These may be incredibly challenging times but we remain incredibly positive that MALG Members can continue to make a real difference to the lives of people in debt by coming together as making the most of membership.

MALG Virtual Summit 2020 – Delegate resources now available

If you were one of the almost 250 people who registered for last week’s MALG Virtual Summit, you should now have received an email with a password-protected link to exclusive delegate resources (including speaker slides and Zoom chat boxes) on our website.

Following all the fantastic feedback we have already had, we’d also very much appreciate it if the 220 of you who were able to attend and get involved could fill in the brief delegate evaluation survey we have sent out.

The Virtual Summit was originally supposed to be a one-off replacement for the physical conference but the overwhelming response we had to it is something we must build on and capitalise. Watch this space…

MALG and Money Advice Trust Data Protection & Vulnerability Guidance launch

Yesterday saw the launch of our new joint ‘Vulnerability, GDPR, and disclosure: A practical guide for creditors and advisers’ with Money Advice Trust.

On the webinar, the authors of the guide, Chris Fitch – Money Advice Trust Vulnerability Lead Consultant – and Robert Bell – a data protection expert, explored the overlap between data protection compliance and vulnerable customer regulation. They were joined by Paul Smee, Chair of MALG, Nina Best, Senior Legal Counsel and Data Protection Officer, Capital One and Dan Holloway, Writer and Lived Experience Expert, to discuss how firms can meet GDPR regulation and support vulnerable customer needs.

The new guide seeks to help firms achieve this by striking the right balance between human experience and data.

The creation of the guide has kindly been supported by NatWest Group, Shoosmiths, Vision Blue, Financial Wellness Group, PayPlan and Experian.

Find out more and access the guide.

MALG Regional Meetings update

MALG regional group meetings are now being held via Zoom and have been very well attended. Remember, if you are a National Member, you have access to some or all of the regional groups so please take advantage of this membership benefit.

Dates for upcoming regional meetings, including the upcoming MALG South West Meeting on 12 November and the first ever MALG East Anglia Meeting on 3 December can be found at www.malg.org.uk/events.

If you aren’t currently being invited to regional meetings and think you should be/want to be, please contact the relevant regional secretary: