At Bristow & Sutor, one of our key commitments is to be sensitive to those who we seek to recover money from, by aiding and directing them towards free, third party advice and offering our own support and advice where appropriate. This approach has been more important than ever during the onset of COVID-19, as many people find themselves in unique circumstances, facing financial uncertainty and putting a strain on their mental health.
Taking good care of debtors is something we pride ourselves on, which is why we employ highly trained & experienced agents as our client’s custodians. Our staff are already trained to use recognised techniques that identify potentially vulnerable debtors. We are currently considering how unique coronavirus related circumstances may impact the repayment of debt and offering longer payment plans, links to COVID-19 specific money advice and more flexible arrangements than ever before. Our fast mobilisation to working from home resulted in uninterrupted and reassuring contact being maintained with debtors, limiting the opportunity for doubt or confusion over circumstances to set in. We aim to continue helping debtors who need assistance to remain positive and keep their agreements manageable and realistic.
In addition, Bristow & Sutor are following advice and guidance from CIVEA regarding re-engagement. No Enforcement Agents (EAs) are currently permitted to attend a property and we will continue to implement this for 30 days after lockdown restrictions are lifted. We understand some debtors will be concerned about social distancing safely being maintained as restrictions ease, but they can rest assured that protecting our customers and staff remains our top priority. We have already ordered and begun to acquire comprehensive PPE equipment that all staff will be trained to use correctly before any visits take place again.
The mental health and well-being of our own staff has been high on our agenda too. By maintaining training initiatives and contact with furloughed staff, as well as daily communication with those working from home, we have been able to provide continuous support for our own employees. All staff at Bristow & Sutor have been given the opportunity to undertake an e-learning course on Mental Health Awareness through iHasco, with further well-being related activities set to be rolled out soon.
In the future, once everybody has returned to work and ‘normal’ life, further long-term impacts of COVID-19 will become known. We will look to handle these new challenges in much the same way as we have those prevalent throughout lockdown and isolation. By continuing to consider mental health and well-being needs in all our engagements and solutions, Bristow & Sutor remain committed as ever to its service approach of Cool, Calm and Collected.