06 Nov 2019
The subject of consumer debt recovery is a highly sensitive one and it is also an area which has seen a huge amount of change in recent years.
In particular, the introduction by the FCA of the Treating Customer Fairly initiative has gone a significant way to improving the processes of those working with borrowers. As a firm, we are also extremely conscious of the wellbeing of our own staff as well the customers we work with.
Ultimately, the key question for all lenders is what they can do to assist their customers in managing their finances, a key element of which is identifying vulnerable customers and providing sufficient support to them.
At Aberdein Considine we have been acutely aware for some time now that the industry as a whole has been very focused on the treatment of customers in potentially vulnerable situations and we have been working hard internally to ensure that these individuals are being supported in the most sensitive and effective way.
The industry and its performance has undoubtedly improved with respect to the care of customers and the regulatory framework that we work within has certainly become more rigorous. This has required that the governance regimes within the participant organisations must ensure that the delivery outcomes that are striven for are underpinned by processes and procedures that are fair, equitable, ever improving and that these processes are auditable to prove that to be the case.
In addition to work we do with lender clients to ensure the highest standards of care are in place, we have also been working on training internally to make sure that our senior members of staff are trained to deal with internal vulnerability.
The attention to mental health in the workplace is more important than ever, and the training programme has been designed to assist senior staff in developing awareness of mental health and well-being issues which may affect our own staff. Among the key areas of focus were the ability to recognise the types of mental illness and their signs and symptoms, how to react appropriately and ensuring that we demonstrate the appropriate communication skills to support individuals with poor mental health.
Financial difficulty can be a source of significant stress for individuals and their families and it is vital that both lenders, and those working with borrowers meet the very highest standards of service, providing the right support at all times.