MALG Chair Liz Barclay this morning launched the Finance & Leasing Association and The UK Cards Association’s new publication: ‘Vulnerability; a guide for debt collection – 21 questions, 21 steps’. Both trade associations and a number of other MALG members including the Credit Services Association and the Money Advice Trust, worked in partnership with the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) to develop this important work.
The research team, led by Chris Fitch who presented at the MALG Members Meeting in January 2017, captured the experiences of 1,600 frontline collections and specialist staff from 27 UK lenders and debt collection firms, and used them to develop 21 practical and commercially realistic steps that can now be shared across the credit industry for the benefit of customers, but also adapted for use in sectors as diverse as utilities, telecoms, retail and Government.
The guide will help organisations to better identify and support customers in vulnerable circumstances and describes strategies to help staff deal with specific and often challenging vulnerabilities, such as serious or terminal illness, bereavement, addiction, and mental health issues. It also includes guidance on developing training programmes and working with partner agencies.