The West Brom commits to better and fairer Debt Collection Practices

The West Brom has signed up to the IEP Debt Code of Best Practice for Debt Collection and Recovery, a set of principles launched by the Inclusive Economy Partnership to help ensure all consumers with low financial resilience are treated fairly and consistently across all sectors.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has tested many people’s financial flexibility, and the Society recongises that it is more important than ever to ensure the organisation’s debt recovery and collection practices are both fair and consistent. As well as becoming an official signatory of the code, the Society has a dedicated team to support customers in financial difficulty that can use a range of measures to help and support.

The code covers the following five areas:

  • Affordability - To ensure repayment plans/affordability assessments are circumstantially appropriate and tailored to the customer
  • Forbearance - To consider and identify the relevant forbearance options to help the customer
  • Breathing space - Providing customers adequate breathing space to consider their payment options and seek independent advice
  • Communications - Navigating the customer to the suitable communication channels
  • Enforcement - Remove or limit enforcement wherever possible

The code positively demonstrates how the Government, Civil Society, and Businesses are working together to improve the treatment which creditors provide to their customers who are experiencing financial difficulty, and also raise awareness of inconsistent debt collection practices amongst the various sectors.

Jonathan Westhoff, the West Brom Chief Executive, said:

“Supporting the financial wellbeing of our customers is the key priority for the Society, being at the heart of our Purpose. We have been focused on helping our vulnerable customers for many years, and becoming a signatory of the Debt Code of Best Practice further demonstrates our commitment. We also have a dedicated customer support team that looks after each individual case and has a duty of care to signpost to relevant third party and impartial services.

"We understand the pandemic may have caused financial stress for many of our customers and it is, therefore, even more critical that we support them. We are proud to join the Best Code of Practices and believe the principles will guide the work we already do, and ensure we provide a fair service to all our customers.”