24 Mar 2020 | Posted In Bob's Blog (MALG updates), Money advice news

The Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG), the UK membership forum that brings together organisations from across the debt advice and related sectors to ‘work together to improve the lives of people in debt’, is launching a new virtual Members ‘Friday Forum’ to provide support and promote joint action during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The weekly video conference will provide a forum for MALG members, which include money advice agencies, creditors, debt collection agencies, enforcement agents, utilities companies, regulators, policy makers and others, to discuss the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on both the significantly increased demand for money/debt advice and limitations on/adaptations needed to the delivery of advice services in light of social distancing measures.
The ‘drop in’ session will take place on Fridays from 10am to 11am starting on Friday 27 March 2020 via ‘Zoom’ (free-to-access online video conference software) and will be open to anyone who works for an organisation that has any category of national or regional membership of MALG. There is no need to register in advance and participants are free to join and leave at any time during the hour-long slot.

Vanora McCullagh, Debt Management Relationship Manager at Lowell Financial, and MALG Midlands Co-Chair, said:

“MALG is in a unique position with the breadth of its membership to provide a central resource to support the sector through this situation. Like many others working in any organisation that deals directly with consumers in financial difficulty, I am currently contacting multiple different agencies to understand how the industry is managing and supporting consumers through this very difficult time and thought that MALG was perfectly placed to help collate this information. I was really pleased that when I contacted Bob he was of the exact same mind and I am now very much looking forward to our first MALG Members ‘Friday Forum’ where participants can share their experience, good and bad, and we can support each other to find the best solutions to ensure we continue to support consumers through this unprecedented time.’’

Bob Winnington, Chief Executive of MALG, said:
“As a facilitator of discussion, debate and collaborative working in this important arena, we felt that it was our duty as MALG in the current circumstances to provide a ‘virtual’ means of bringing those working on the ‘frontline’ across the whole money and debt landscape together to share the burden of navigating this new and ever-evolving landscape.
“In line with MALG’s ethos of non-judgemental free discussion, the session will not be recorded and minutes will not be taken. It will simply be an opportunity for people to discuss issues raised by the outbreak and measures being taken, as well as share ideas and best practice for a more coherent and joined-up sector-wide approach to the unprecedented challenges faced. It will also offer the opportunity for members to update each other on key legislative, regulatory and other changes that are happening in response to the crisis.”
Find out more, including how to use ‘Zoom’ if you haven’t before, here.