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.

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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:

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Identification

Was financial difficulty identified at the earliest opportunity?

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Understand

Is up-to-date income and expenditure information held?

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Personalise

Was the solution proposed / deployed personalised to the customer?

Communicate

Communicate

Was the customer given the opportunity to enter into constructive dialogue?

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Judgement

Did the handler exercise sufficient judgement in seeking to agree the best way forward?

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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.

Why Huntswood

  • 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

Case study:

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.

 Read more

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