NHS England and Unhealthy Debt
Steve Coppard meets with Katherine Francis-Browne, the Income Delivery Lead at NHS England. As the NHS is free at the point of use, debt is not the first thing that comes to mind, however any organisation dealing with any financial transactions has the capacity to create debt. Their conversation highlights the improvements the NHS is making to responsibly collect debt, identifying vulnerabilities and the need for better technology and data.
Deven Ghelani and Who Benefits?
In this episode, Steve Coppard speaks to Deven Ghelani from Policy in Practice, a social policy, software and analytics company supporting businesses and local authorities to better analyse the impact of policy and those affected. Their recently published research found there is £19bn worth of unclaimed benefits every year in the UK. Steve and Deven discuss how Policy in Practice is trying to move the needle on the issue, why the issue exists and why those working in the financial services and collections and recoveries industries should care.
Registry Trust and the Data Dilemma
For our latest episode, Steve visits Lex Jones and Chris Dick at the Registry Trust. The Registry Trust was established to maintain the official statutory, register of judgements, orders and fines for England and Wales on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, and it maintains similar registers for Scotland. Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, and Jersey by agreement with the relevant authorities there. Through campaigning by the Registry Trust, Steve became aware of an issue relating to a lack of claimant data for England and Wales - the name of the person or organisation that files the county court judgement (CCJ) against the indebted person or business. Currently their name does not have to appear on the CCJ, so the database is incomplete, leading to difficulty in paying down CCJs, added stress, and a high volume of unnecessary calls to both the courts and the Registry Trust. That campaign led to a commitment by the Ministry of Justice to run a public consultation on this matter, which in government terms is the first step to making a change - so a huge win for the Registry Trust!
Mark Francis and Debt Collection in New Zealand
For this episode, Steve speaks with Mark Francis from DebtManagers in New Zealand. Mark is one of the leading voices in the debt conversation in New Zealand, pressing for better treatment of those in debt, and an industry code of practice amongst other things. Steve took the opportunity to ask Mark what it is about the industry that keeps him awake at night and he spoke about the four issues that he's concerned about – the lack of a code of practice, the language used around debt, encouraging people to access free debt advice through Money Mentors, and personal responsibility regarding debt.
Jamie Waller and the Evolution of Enforcement
In this episode Steve meets with Jamie Waller, founder of JBW Group and the Enterprise Network at the Prince's Trust. Jamie’s the author of Unsexy Business and at a time of recording, he was in the midst of writing his new book, The Dyslexic Entrepreneur. They discussed the enforcement industry, past then present. Their conversation highlighted the importance of making sure that the industry hears the voice of the front line, the enforcement agents themselves, as well as challenges in the procurement process, and the potential impact of the Enforcement Conduct Board.