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The credit and collections industry is undergoing a seismic shift. The introduction of the Consumer Duty principle marks a new era, where customer outcomes are paramount. This isn’t just about ticking compliance boxes; it’s a fundamental rethink of how we approach collections. Let’s delve into why Consumer Duty is more than just a regulation – it’s an opportunity to transform the customer experience.


Understanding the Consumer Duty Principle

At its core, the Consumer Duty principle is about ensuring that financial firms act in the best interests of their customers. In the context of collections, this means going beyond simply recovering debts. It means:

Fairness and Transparency: Customers should be treated fairly and understand the implications of their financial situation. Communication should be clear, concise, and free from jargon.

Vulnerability Considerations: Identifying and supporting vulnerable customers is crucial. This means tailoring communication and offering flexible solutions to meet their individual needs.

Acting in Good Faith: This goes beyond legal obligations. It’s about building trust and acting with empathy, even in difficult financial situations.


Practical Implications for Collections Processes

So, how can you embed Consumer Duty into your collections strategy? Here are some practical steps:

Review Communication Practices: Ensure all communication, whether written or verbal, is clear, empathetic, and avoids any misleading information.
Train Staff on Vulnerability: Equip your team with the skills to identify and support vulnerable customers. This includes understanding the signs of financial distress and knowing how to offer appropriate assistance.

Develop Personalised Solutions: Move away from a one-size-fits-all approach. Offer flexible repayment plans and consider alternative solutions that cater to the individual’s circumstances.

Monitor and Measure Outcomes: Regularly assess the effectiveness of your collections practices. Are you achieving positive customer outcomes? Are there areas where you can improve?


The Benefits of Embracing Consumer Duty

Putting Consumer Duty at the heart of your collections processes isn’t just about compliance. It can lead to a range of tangible benefits, including:

Improved Customer Satisfaction: Customers who feel treated fairly and supported are more likely to have a positive view of your company, even in challenging situations.

Reduced Complaints: By addressing issues proactively and offering tailored solutions, you can minimise the risk of customer complaints and negative feedback.

Enhanced Brand Reputation: A commitment to Consumer Duty can differentiate your brand, attracting customers who value ethical and customer-centric practices.

Increased Debt Recovery: By building trust and offering support, you can increase the likelihood of customers engaging with you and successfully resolving their debts.



The Consumer Duty principle marks a turning point in the credit and collections industry. By embracing this principle and putting customer outcomes first, you can not only meet regulatory requirements but also create a positive customer experience that builds trust, loyalty, and ultimately, a more successful business.

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