In this week's Leading the Way blog, we explain why we provide information on the three stages of recovery to different causes and institutions, including the Royal British Legion, who have engaged with us for training this month.
Bristow & Sutor regularly signpost people towards independent support as it is our moral obligation to facilitate these conversations and connections. We must ensure the advice received by debtors once these referrals take place, especially when someone is vulnerable, is accurate and helpful towards improving circumstances long term.
Unfortunately, advice to avoid engaging with enforcement agents as a way to delay or deter further action still appears from time to time, despite this being the worst thing that someone can do. By increasing understanding around the enforcement process and sharing best practice advice with independent advisors, we can help to ensure people in problem debt achieve a consistent and universal level of support and advice.
What is the Royal British Legion?
The Royal British Legion (RBL) is a charity that provides financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants. They are the country’s largest Armed Forces charity, with 180,000 members, 110,000 volunteers and a network of diverse partners and charities. The charity aims to give expert advice, guidance, recovery and rehabilitation to its members as they transition to civilian life.
Every year in November, the RBL run a Poppy Appeal to raise vital funds that will help today's Armed Forces community. Financial wellbeing is an important aspect of the ongoing advice the charity provides, so advisors within the organisation must understand how aspects of debt work, such as collections and enforcement, as this ensures accurate advice is provided to anyone that asks for assistance.
How did RBL discover Bristow & Sutor?
Helen Addis is Bristow & Sutor’s Social Responsibility and Customer Welfare Manager and earlier this year was invited to join the North West Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) Committee in light of her ongoing commitment to raising awareness in the space. As part of her role, Helen regularly organises, devises and delivers talks, roundtable discussions and events, aiming to educate others on the positive impact open conversation about enforcement can have. One recent session was held by the East Midlands Money Advice Group and an independent attendee at that event, after learning more about collections processes from Helen, recommended Bristow & Sutor directly to the RBL.
The training provided to the RBL focuses specifically on the three stages of recovery (compliance, enforcement and sale or disposal), and is designed to help enhance the understanding of the in-house debt advice team, so they have up to date knowledge on the reasons behind activities when discussing unique circumstances and situations in future. This is beneficial for those that engage with the charity as it limits the risk of receiving confusing or in worst-case scenarios, wrong advice; but also benefits enforcement firms, as this helps overcome myths and misconceptions, allowing genuinely helpful resolutions to be found fairly and efficiently. Training now also covers the impact of the coronavirus on the collections process and aims to reassure attendees that they are equipped with knowledge on how we conduct our work post-pandemic.
Why is this important to an enforcement firm?
As part of our ongoing commitment to help debtors improve circumstances and outcomes, we regularly offer training sessions and presentations to debt advice providers and local authority personnel. Bristow & Sutor recognise that debt advice professionals must have a strong and accurate understanding of the enforcement process so that they can discuss options confidently when these conversations arise. We have made significant strides in social responsibility and customer welfare initiatives in recent times and collaborating in this way is always in the best interest of those facing problem debt.
We are also proud to support charitable and worthy causes, especially those that make an impact on the local communities we engage with daily. Earlier this year we signed a charity partner agreement to provide continued support to The Money Charity, volunteering and providing annual donations for the next three years. The charity recently joined us on our stand at the IRRV Annual Conference and Exhibition at the Telford International Centre, to raise awareness around Financial Wellbeing and the positive impact training can have on local communities.
Bristow & Sutor remains fully committed to adding social value wherever possible and ensuring others can replicate our approach of being cool, calm and collected.