Balancing customer outcomes with commercial risks
The Financial Conduct Authority’s 2018 Financial Lives Survey highlighted the fact that 4.1 million people in the UK are "in financial difficulty". They may have already failed to pay domestic bills or meet credit commitments in three or more months. And it’s not just Financial Services – according to Ofgem, 1.2 million electricity customers and 1 million gas customers are in debt to their suppliers.
Firms must ensure they are well equipped to deal with customers, especially those in arrears, who are experiencing financial distress. Huntswood is here to give you confidence in your arrears handling and collections processes, ensuring that they are appropriate and aligned to regulatory requirements, industry best practice and delivering good outcomes for customers. Not only that, we're here to provide the support you need to drive operational excellence and cost efficiencies.
How Huntswood can help
Our regulatory experts have a deep understanding of the priorities of the regulator, and its future direction of travel. We use this expertise to provide a comprehensive health check of your current operations, including a regulatory gap analysis, as well as peer benchmarking with full recommendations to ensure you are delivering in line with your regulator’s expectations.
We can support your firm in implementing improvements to your approach, from policy and process design to a full implementation of a new target operating model with all of the training and governance elements required.
Our industry-leading resourcing and recruitment platform can also ensure your business has the trained, vetted and high-quality people you need to carry out complex operations and manage high volumes of customer contact.
TESTING OUTCOMES IS KEY TO EVIDENCING A TAILORED AND EFFECTIVE APPROACH
When consumers find themselves in a collections or recoveries situation, testing outcomes becomes all the more important.
Huntswood usually segments its outcomes testing methodology into the following key areas for collections and recoveries (matching the typical stages in a customer’s journey towards a collections situation). Example questions posed at each stage are outlined below:
Was financial difficulty identified at the earliest opportunity?
Is up-to-date income and expenditure information held?
Was the solution proposed / deployed personalised to the customer?
Was the customer given the opportunity to enter into constructive dialogue?
Did the handler exercise sufficient judgement in seeking to agree the best way forward?
CONSIDER THE ‘THREE Cs’
Customer, conduct and culture are inextricably linked, and should be considered at all stages in the collections and recoveries lifecycle.
Firms have frequently viewed each of the above areas in isolation, but the benefits of viewing these areas holistically (using a robust outcomes testing approach) are now more widely recognised.
- With decades’ worth of experience in dealing with vulnerable customers, we’re absolutely dedicated to delivering good outcomes for consumers in financial difficulties
- We can provide assurance that your arrears handling and collections processes adhere to regulatory requirements
- We’ll implement a streamlined process that reduces your firm’s operational and reputational risks, as well as potential redress costs
Delivering a collections programme for a global bank
Huntswood was engaged by a global bank to support in its collections and recoveries function following the identification of poor customer outcomes and resulting regulatory scrutiny.
Take a customer-centric approach to business
Eliminate the contact centre queue and see customer satisfaction rise as a result
Ensuring you have the processes and controls to successfully manage surges in activity
Identify and protect customers in vulnerable circumstances
Making a good impression during the early stages of a complaints journey can lead to trust and loyalty in the future
At a time of increasing financial and emotional pressure, firms that put complaints excellence at the centre of their operations, will win customer trust and earn long‐term loyalty
Richard Brown – Huntswood’s Technical Adviser in Complaints – answers some of the questions asked at the Complaints Outlook 2021 launch event
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