Slough engages Intrum in ethical collections approach
Intrum to tackle council arrears across a range of services
Slough Borough Council is to become the latest local authority to pass unpaid debts to ethical credit management firm Intrum in a bid to enhance the experience of residents and raise revenue for the borough.
The agreement with H&F Ethical Collections, the joint venture partnership set up by Intrum UK and Hammersmith & Fulham Council to revolutionise local authority collections practices, will see the first collections for Slough begin later this month.
Under the arrangement, Intrum will take on the collection of historic debts across a range of services including council tax, business rates, sundry debts, former tenant arrears and housing benefit overpayments.
Intrum will work with residents to establish their financial circumstances and agree payment plans they can afford. The joint venture aims to end the two-tier treatment of customers in debt by applying Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) best practice standards to all debts, not only those in the private sector.
The council’s decision follows widespread calls for change in local authority collections, including the publication of reports by the Treasury Select Committee, National Audit Office, Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service.
Eddie Nott, UK Managing Director of Intrum, said the joint venture will ensure fair and ethical treatment for those in debt, as well as supporting their financial rehabilitation. “Our experience is that a sympathetic approach is more effective than aggressive collections and the use of bailiffs,” he said.
“Our team is skilled at contacting people in debt and working with them to establish their income and expenditure so they can pay back the money they owe in an affordable and sustainable plan. This approach will return more money to Slough in the long term, enabling the council to continue to fund essential services for its growing population.”
He added: “Slough is one of the councils at the front of a wave of change in local authority collections – we expect to announce further partnerships in the coming weeks and months.”
Neil Wilcox, Director of Finance and Resources at Slough Borough Council, said “We are looking forward to working with Intrum and we are keen to see how an ethical approach to collecting debts can improve outcomes for everyone.”
For further information, please contact:
Phone: + 44 (0) 7946 609928
Lizzie Singer, Executive assistant and marketing coordinator
Phone: + 44 (0)7442 505 353
In the UK Intrum has achieved top Investor in Customers (IIC) ratings for five consecutive years and has won a string of awards for its ethical approach. The company holds a +62% net promoter score. Intrum UK is a registered firm of the Lending Standards Board and the first business of its kind to achieve an ISO standard for dealing with vulnerability.