The FCA consumer credit authorisation demonstrates Grosvenor’s high standard of collection processes, including; training of staff, the fair treatment of customers, identifying vulnerability and accurately measuring the affordability of repayment arrangements.
According to a new report by Echo, nearly half of all debts (41%) owed to businesses are as a result of forgotten or late payments, rather than more expected reasons such as customers not having the means to pay.
Echo Managed Services’ own collections data also revealed that a third of people with debts over 60 days late were in more financially stable situations, with 13% being some of the wealthier and more highly educated in society, classed as ‘affluent achievers’ or ‘rising prosperity’ in Acorn classifications.
The FCA aims to protect consumers of the UK’s financial services industry, ensuring businesses are run with integrity and with consumers’ best interests at heart. The authorisation for utilities specialist Grosvenor is testament to the company’s dedication and success in developing a customer-centric end to end debt collections service; from pre bill engagement and early arrears services, right through to litigation.
Lloyd Birkhead, managing director at Grosvenor Services Group, said: “There are a number of reasons why a customer might not pay and it’s not always down to income deprivation. A customer might dispute the amount or not understand the bill, so it’s important to train staff to take a customer centric approach by being understanding and taking all reasons into account in order to deal with each individual case effectively. That’s just one of the quality standards the FCA authorisation process asks to see and something we’re proud to uphold here at Grosvenor.
“With Ofwat revealing at the end of last year that the cost of unpaid water bills hit £2.2bn, water companies are under pressure to do more to collect debt from consumers who are able to pay, and engage more effectively with vulnerable consumers who are not. Although consumer credit authorisation is not essential to operations in this sector, Ofwat is encouraging it, and now, many water and wider utility businesses are insisting on it as a quality benchmark for their operations.”