Wescot – Experts in Trace Support

Wescot Credit Services is a veteran of the debt recovery and collections market, with over 40 years experience in the industry. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of the business, Wescot are well placed to assist organisations seeking to work on their debt portfolios in whatever form that may take. In the case of a recent collaboration with Swift Advances, Wescot assisted them in undertaking a remediation exercise.

Swift had a owescotne-off requirement to trace around 2000 customers who had repaid loans with them, in order to issue small refunds. Using its highly effective core range of products and services known as “Locate”, Wescot was in a perfect position to assist. The Locate team at Wescot is extremely experienced at re-establishing contact between clients and customers, and Wescot operates an efficient and effective validation process to ensure that the contact information provided is accurate.

A spokesperson for Swift commented: “The process was extremely effective and involved minimum effort on our part.” In just a couple of weeks, Wescot had provided Swift with positive trace data relating to nearly 80% of the customers in question. Swift were delighted with the input from Wescot, adding: “This substantially exceeded our expectations. We have now repaid the customers and closed down a very successful exercise.”

With regulators increasingly keen to regain the trust of the public, Wescot and its credit sector counterparts are under constant scrutiny. Tracing and contacts expertise is in high demand and Wescot knows that this essential element of customer service must deliver a high degree of accuracy to be compliant. Wescot is diligent in its application of the principles of Treating Customers Fairly, and part of that is ensuring that trace data is accurately validated at every stage.

Wescot’s Product Development Director, Simon Armitage, said of Wescot’s approach to tracing: “We appreciate the world is changing in terms of client requirements for tracing products, originators are no longer willing to simply take risks using non-validated data.” The diversity of the range of Wescot’s products and services in this area allows Wescot to tailor solutions to the needs of its clients, whilst ensuring that the customer gets a fair deal too.

Debt management is as much about making sure that customers are not overpaying, as it is about recovering debt. As a responsible debt management organisation Wescot accords the needs and rights of its customers the same value and attention as those of its clients. It is a strategy that clearly delivers results.

Wescot – Fresh Strategies for an Evolving Market

The Financial Services market has seen significant changes in recent years. Since 2008, when the banking crisis hit and economies all over the world were shaken to their core, the regulatory authorities have taken an increasingly keen interest in the operating procedures of financial institutions.  Of particular interest to them wescothas been the field of debt collection. Financial organisations remain in the spotlight, and are under constant pressure to demonstrate fair and responsible actions in managing their debt portfolios.

Wescot Credit Services is one of the UK’s primary solutions providers for impaired portfolios, and debt collection and recovery. The new focus on the performance and services from such organisations has played to its many strengths. Trust, openness and strategic integrity have enabled the company to ride the wave of turmoil that has blighted the sector since 2008. Ever mindful of the need to keep pace with the changing requirements of its customers, clients and the regulatory authorities, Wescot is constantly refining is strategic objectives, setting a benchmark for industry performance that is hard to beat.

The clear delivery of requirements laid down by the newly appointed watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, is a key target for the company. Compliance is the foundation of trust, and is achieved through a clear set of processes and models, perpetual training and ongoing investment in systems and staff training. To further enhance its commitment in this area, the company has recently appointed a new Operational Risk Manager, Claire Larsen, who has experience of working as a Risk Manager in a Financial Conduct environment.

The strategic and effective engagement of customers is another important objective in debt management. Providing a range of solutions to assist customers in meeting their obligations ensures a fair and supportive approach to the debt recovery process that helps customers to make the right choices. This aim links in to the requirements of the financial institutions themselves as clients.  Increasing competition in the debt recovery market demands a focused and flexible approach to delivering successful outcomes both up and down the line. Wescot achieve this by linking their customer engagement strategies with the specific needs of the client concerned.

One final objective identified by this highly successful organisation relates to performance and innovation. Agreeing performance targets with clients, and continually investing in the training of staff and data management technologies gives the company a significant strategic edge. As an effective facilitator between financial client and individual customer, debt recovery companies have an obligation and responsibility to recognise and meet the needs of both, and the strategies and objectives outlined here illustrate how this can very effectively be achieved.

Wescot – Proud Sponsors of the Money Advice Scotland Annual Conference

Money Advice Scotland is an umbrella organisation which aims to promote and support the availability and development of money and debt advice across Scotland. All advice offered by Money Advice Scotland is free, impartial, and in the strictest confidentiality. The trust that this engenders in users of the services is a key factor in its success. It is important to those seeking the assistance of Money Advice Scotland that any debt recovery organisation they are subsequently engaged with is equally trustworthy and works in a manner that is not only in accordance with regulatory guidelines, but which also provides flexible and fair solutions to its customers.

Wescot Credit Services is one such organisation. As a responsible, customer-centric debt management organisation it has helped countless individuals repay debts to financial institutions in a fair and constructive way. It is organisations such as this which make the work of Money Advice Scotland easier. Every year Money Advice Scotland hosts a conference designed to bring together experts from across the sector and create a forum within which the very latest industry developments can be aired and discussed.

As a charity, Money Advice Scotland relies on the goodwill of sponsors to keep its services live, and also to fund events such like its annual conference. Responsible organisations within the financial services sector recognise the value of the work done by Money Awescotdvice Scotland, and readily contribute funds in support of these initiatives. The conference is the perfect platform for Money Advice Scotland to promote its services and draw attention to the many financial issues that face individuals every day. This opportunity for regular and active dialogue ensures that the implications of any regulatory changes or relevant legislation are clearly understood.

In 2013, Wescot was proud to be a Gold standard sponsor of the Money Advice Scotland conference.  Its contribution to the gathering demonstrated direct and active support for the issues being discussed there. The company is a leading provider of debt collection, recovery and debt portfolio management across the UK, and has over 40 years of experience in the credit industry. It has been stunningly successful at securing debt repayments for its clients, from customers in a diverse range of circumstances.

With over 650 staff in three main hubs across the UK, Wescot services in excess of 5 million consumers every year, and constantly works to provide the best outcomes for each and every one of them. Strict compliance with regulatory guidelines, and a proactive, caring engagement with customers are the cornerstones of its success, and it is constantly re-evaluating its services to ensure that they provide the best possible solutions to customers and clients alike.

Wescot | Help With Remediation Operations

The Swift Group are a non-forming loan company, providing short term support for people struggling to pay bills by offering credit to people that high street banks and major lenders might otherwise turn down. The loans that Swift offer are tailored to the current market of short term, high interest ‘payday loans’ that are helpful to people that have poor credit. In order to finance these loans, Swift are backed by the Alchemy private equity group in addition to a number of large banks and each loan is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Swift, therefore are able to assist people with credit quickly, and by adhering to the law.

wescotRecently, however, the Swift Group had to call upon the services of a debt recovery agency, Wescot, one of the UK’s largest debt management companies. This was because they were required by the FCA to perform a remediation operation that involved repaying approximately 2000 customers all of whom had overpaid. Because of the circumstances of customers of the Swift Group, they made it their mission to repay them as fast as possible and they deemed it necessary to bring in outside help. Wescot have a similar customer focused attitude when they conduct business and they were chosen to help the Swift Group track down the former customers they owed money to. In addition to debt recovery, Wescot also offer a locate service to businesses whereby they can rapidly find debtors or in this case, customers who were owed money.

Suffice to say, the remediation operation was a success, Swift were able to cooperate effectively with the debt recovery company, utilising their locate service to track down 80% of the customers they owed money to. A spokesman of Swift commented that the process was ‘extremely effective’, and the speed at which the customers received their money exceeded the loan company’s expectations.

The credit management company were able to track down so many of the customers simply by using the initial contact information that they gave to Swift when they first took out a loan. The debt recovery team is that efficient that they are able to trace people even if they have moved addresses, or disappeared from the contact directory. With an efficient team leading the remediation exercise, it is small wonder that Swift were impressed with the results.

Wescot | Multi Million Pound Deal with Experian

For many lenders around the world, there is one company that they turn to in order to quickly make a credit assessment before approving loans, and that is Experian. Experian is the market leader in credit information services, with regional headquarters in the UK, at Nottingham, Brazil in Sao Paulo and with their HQ in California covering the United States, they are in a position to service credit companies all over the world. Employing over 17000 Wescotpeople, Experian compiles data on millions of people regarding their credit history and what they can currently afford to pay for. Experian have recently developed a new system that can dramatically improve the rate at which a credit report can be delivered, and speed up the process for their clients, they have named the new system, ExPin.

ExPin works in a similar way to their previous iterations, however Experian have made some tweaks and adjustments. ExPin now only compiles data on the customers of Experian clients, providing a bespoke service that is designed for each individual client but most importantly it improves the speed at which the credit report is made. In addition to a much faster process, ExPin is also constantly updated by the Experian database, ensuring that all the information that it supplies is up to date. Clients can rest assured that the assessment that the ExPin service makes is as accurate as possible and that the transaction they are about to perform is protected by a precise report.

Experian have recently received a new client in the form of one of the UK’s largest debt recovery agencies, Wescot. Employing over 650 people in three different offices in the North, Wescot annually process around 5 million different clients. They approached Experian with a multimillion pound deal in order to gain access to the company’s ExPin system to use it in a slightly different way that lenders might use it. There are a number of factors affecting the debt recovery agency, not least the fact that more and more people have less money available to spend, let alone repay debts.

By using ExPin, debt recovery agencies can look up a debtor’s credit history and gauge how much money they can put aside to paying off their debt. ExPin will not only speed up this process, but ensure a responsible debt recovery procedure.

Wescot | FCA Regulations Call for More Efficient Complaints Management

In the light of the Financial Conduct Authority taking over the regulation of the debt management industry, there have been increased pressures placed on companies that operate within this swescotector to manage their complaints with greater efficiency and deliver faster responses to queries. To this end, Wescot which is one of the biggest debt recovery agencies in the UK, has employed the services of Equinti, an IT services firm to better handle the complaints system.

Equinti employs 2500 people in 22 different locations across the globe and they specialise in dramatically changing the way businesses run their more secondary processes. Things like human resources and stock ordering are areas that Equinti look at and attempt to automate, bringing together a much more efficient combination of systems that can reduce costs in the long run. Equinti have been cooperating with IT industrial giants Microsoft and IBM to develop their software programmes, as such they can deliver a high quality product to their clients. The most common programme that clients purchase is the Perito system, this automates many essential processes and this is the product that Wescot have purchased.

It is important for any large company such as Wescot, who annually deal with 5 million different accounts to improve the speed at which they can respond to any query, not just customer complaints. Perito from Equinti will help speed up this process as it will register the complaints and place them into categories for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of the company as a whole. Speaking on behalf of the debt recovery agency has said of the Perito system that it has ‘reduced the risk of manual complaint management’.

In order to adhere to the stricter guidelines in place from the FCA, debt recovery companies have to do the best they can to reduce the risk of manual complaint management, like the way Perito organises each individual complaint. By objectively sorting these complaints into a database, ranked on the complaint’s severity, Perito can ensure that the most pressing complaints can be dealt with sooner and protect the corporate identity of companies that employ the system.

Equinti also have a number of different systems like the Perito complain management that can speed up many protocols essential to running large businesses but mainly run in the background.

Wescot always seeks to meet – and exceed the expectations of clients and customers

From small beginnings in Scotland, Wescot Credit Services has grown to become one of the major players in the credit collections niche. Wescot also enjoys a strong reputation in the area of customer tracing. Strong evidence for this can be found in the fact that Wescot was selected by a leading insurer, Swift Cover to assist with a remediation exercise the Wescot company was legally required to carry out. This involved having to track down approximately 2000 of Swift’s former customers in order to make relatively small repayments. Choosing Wescot to carry out the tracing work certainly paid off for Swift. Wescot Credit Services managed to successfully trace over 80 per cent of the customers. This significantly exceeded Swift’s expectations.

Wescot Credit Services has successfully carried out work on behalf of clients across a range of different business sectors. These include banking, general finance, telecoms, utilities and retail. Wescot has also carried out projects for local government. Full details of the services available from Wescot can be found on the company’s website www.wescot.co.uk .

Wescot places considerable emphasis on treating customers fairly. This approach proves to be particularly useful in the field of early collections. Under an early collection scenario, the client is obviously keen to recover arrears. At the same time though, the client will be looking to maintain its relationship with the individual customer if at all possible. This is much more likely to be achieved if the customer feels that he or she has been dealt with appropriately and if a satisfactory outcome to negotiations has been reached. As Wescot appreciates, an unprofessional or heavy-handed approach often turns out to be counter productive. It can also do damage to the client’s reputation. This is of particular concern in the current economic client where clients will want to avoid being tarred with the same brush as some of the more unscrupulous elements of the consumer credit niche.

As Wescot appreciates, the idea of treating customers fairly is very much tied into the issue of compliance. The whole consumer credit niche has received a lot of political and media attention over recent times. Wescot Credit Services is aware of the fact that the level of regulation in this area is likely to increase in the near future. This is why the services provided by Wescot not only meet but also in many cases exceed industry standards.

Wescot was the company of choice for a leading insurer

As Wescot Credit Services is well aware, this is a challenging time in the credit finance sector. On the one hand, general antipathy towards banks and has spilled over into the industry as a whole. On the other hand, a lot of media attention has recently been focused on the area of payday loans and certain credit-based domestic retailers. Businesses need to be careful about their choice of collections and tracing agency if they want to avoid being tarred with the same brush as some of the more disreputable elements in the industry.

wescotWescot Credit Services by contrast, is regarded as a safe pair of hands. This is true not just in terms of the professionalism Wescot employs, but also in the very important areas of ethics and compliance. Good evidence for the fact that Wescot is so well regarded can be found in the range of business sectors in which the company operates. These include areas as diverse as retail, banking, utilities, telecoms – and even local government.

Further evidence for the solid reputation enjoyed by Wescot Credit Services can be found in the fact that the company has a record of being selected to carry out extremely specialised projects on behalf of big name companies. One such instance was the work Wescot recently carried out on behalf of Swift Insurance. This major insurer was legally required to carry out a remediation exercise. Essentially, Swift was required to make relatively small refunds to a large number of people. In all, there were 2000 customers to trace. Like most businesses, Swift did not have the resources to carry out this exercise without outside help. It needed a company that could deal with the specific task in hand efficiently and expertly

Wescot Credit Services was a natural choice for Swift. After all, the company brings together a highly experienced team along with a technologically advanced validation system to ensure that its data is as accurate as possible. The Wescot team was able to tailor a solution to directly address the specific instructions of its client. Swift’s choice of Wescot Credit Services certainly appears to have been a sensible one. Wescot managed to produce positive trace results on almost 80 per cent of the customers the insurer was seeking to trace. The timescales for delivery were also impressive. Wescot Credit Services managed to achieve these results within the space of a couple of weeks.

Wescot Credit Services | Building a customer centric strategy

Change is afoot at Wescot headquarters, although they have already reached the heady heights of being one of the largest debt collection companies within the UK; they are now striving to become every client’s first choice provider, by placing their customer focused company values at the heart of business.

Wescot Credit ServicesManaging distressed portfolios is second nature to the team at Wescot, but their objectives for transparency, collaborative working in an ethical manner and building long term trust, makes them stand out from the crowd in an ever changing industry.

Back in February this year, Wescot Credit Services were handling around three million collection accounts. From this, they managed to recoup and retain a staggering £240 million worth of capital to out of pocket clients.

The debt collection industry is constantly evolving, and over the next three years, Wescot are focusing their attentions on counteracting the key factors of change to ensure 100% client satisfaction.

Wescot anticipates that there will be further pressure on consumers as disposable income gets squeezed tighter. Governing bodies will be clamping down on unfair procedures as the shift in responsibility moves from the Office of Fair Trading to the Financial Conduct Authority. Clients will need to review their internal procedures in light of FCA intervention, plus take into account the potential reduction in unsecured consumer lending.

Other key factors the Wescot team are forecasting include; the growing demand for our clients to offer not just great financial products, but also embrace new technology. There is the obvious competitor issue to consider as well as the likes of supermarkets branching out into offering financial services could affect their clientele. Finally with the opportunity for financial markets consolidating and merging means that smaller competitors could easily become bigger players in the sector overnight.

By raising awareness of these factors, Wescot believes they can address most eventualities, allowing clients the chance to deal with market forces and plan for the future.

Wescot Credit Services insight and passion to fulfil and exceed client expectations is evident, and it is undoubtedly the reason why they dominate the debt collection market.   With over four decades of debt management experience, Wescot Credit Services is one of the UK’s biggest collection agencies, providing jobs for over 650 employees.

 

Wescot Credit Services | Lead Generation and Tracing in an Evolving Industry

The effectiveness of debt mediation activities often hinges on the accuracy of trace data. The mediation industry is changing, and with lenders no longer able to accept the risks posed by inaccurate and non-validated customer data, they must now rely on the trace support services of credit service agencies.

Wescot Credit ServicesAccurate lead generation and tracing is not only important for improving the quality of collection activities, but also for customer service purposes. A good example of this is the remediation exercise that Wescot Credit Services conducted on behalf of Swift Advances, who are an appointed representative for insurance mediation activities.

Some of Wescot’s main services include working to re-establish contact between clients such as Swift and their customers, and also to deliver accurate location information. They often provide trace and lead generation services when customers have gone away, contact between the client and the customer has been lost, or address verification is needed.

Swift Advances needed to perform a one-off exercise to provide a large number of minor refunds to customers who had already paid off their loans but where accidently charged extra. Within a couple of weeks, positive trace results were provided for almost 80% of the customers. This was much higher than Swift’s expectations, and they were subsequently able to repay the customers and conclude the operation.

In a large number of different sectors, tracing is now a crucial aspect of customer services. It allows businesses to deliver better quality services, and in many cases allows businesses to resolve process issues. By relying on the resources and expertise of agencies like Wescot Credit Services, lenders benefit from an indirect reduction of risk in their lending activities. In unloading the burden of this activity to a service agency, lenders gain this benefit with minimum effort on their behalf. Wescot also provides a variety of other services to other clients in the lending industry.

As is shown by this case study, lead generation and tracing is not simply about locating debtors. It is about delivering a level of customer service that agencies within this industry are expected to provide, and abiding by the rules and regulations applied by the various relevant authorities. If such services can be used for the purposes of debt collection, then it is only fair that they are also used for promoting a fair market and fair agency practices.