Civil Enforcement agencies have not always been known for their cohesive nature, but at Bristow & Sutor, we have seen this in abundance across the industry since the beginning of UK lockdown measures.
There is undoubtedly a unified and collective approach being adopted to debt recovery across the majority of the industry. Lead by the ongoing advice and guidance of CIVEA, best practice strategy is rightly being adopted and adhered too. We are already consulting with customers who are planning to come out of lockdown and collaborating with CIVEA on plans to support this process. This includes a self-imposed delay of 30 days before visiting once restrictions end, ensuring the correct use of PPE and the creation of a consistent letter to be used by all CIVEA members when reengaging with debtors. More frequent and detailed conversations and webinars are happening between industry leaders, with the sharing of experience and knowledge more open and prevalent than ever before. This should be reassuring to clients and customers as the industry is working together for their benefit in this time of need.
The Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, laid before parliament on the 24th April, directly impacts how every Council and Civil Enforcement agency must operate at this time. It seems only right under these circumstances that there is a collaborative and unified approach. We are all in this together and togetherness will become even more essential as we begin to emerge from Lockdown and adapt to the ‘new normal’ way of life.
It is good to see evidence of best practice being adopted by so many, such as those building sophistication and technology into the compliance stage. Training staff on assisting vulnerable people and employing data science to understand more about people’s behaviour will have significant benefits beyond COVID-19. At Bristow & Sutor, we are proud of the success we have had operating in this way and have openly shared our thoughts on the correct approach at this time, our experience of delivering debt advice sessions and the insight we have obtained from technological investment and behavioural science.
It is our intention to continue sharing evidence of our successes in the hope that the cohesive industry collaboration being seen right now continues post lockdown. If it does, this could become an unexpected yet positive outcome from the coronavirus pandemic.
Bristow & Sutor remains committed as ever to our service approach of Cool, Calm and Collected.