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Echo's Grosvenor Services Group achieves FCA Authorisation

From the Knowledge Centre

Grosvenor Services Group, a part of Echo Managed Services has been successfully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for its debt collection services...

We are pleased to announce that our wholly owned subsidiary, Grosvenor Services Group, has successfully achieved FCA consumer credit authorisation, demonstrating our high standard of collection processes including: training of staff, the fair treatment of customers, identifying vulnerability and accurately measuring the affordability of repayment arrangements.

The FCA aims to protect consumers of the UK's financial services industry, ensuring businesses are run with integrity and with consumers' best interests at heart. The authorisation for Grosvenor, a utilities specialist, is testament to the company's dedication and success in developing a customer-centric end to end debt collections service; from pre bill engagement and early arrears services, right through to litigation.

Echo's recent research report 'counting the cost of debt recovery' highlighted that nearly half of all debts owed to businesses are as a result of forgotten or late payments, rather than more expected reasons such as customers not having the means to pay. In addition a third of people with debts over 60 days late were in more financially stable situations, with 13% being some of the wealthier and more highly educated in society.

"There are many reasons why a customer might not pay and it's not always down to income deprivation. A customer might dispute the amount or not understand the bill, so it's important to train staff to take a customer-centric approach by being understanding and taking all reasons into account in order to deal with each individual case effectively. That's just one of the quality standards the FCA authorisation process asks to see and something we're proud to uphold here at Grosvenor."

Lloyd Birkhead, managing director, Grosvenor Services Group

With Ofwat revealing at the end of last year that the cost of unpaid water bills hit £2.2bn, water companies are under pressure to do more to collect debt from consumers who are able to pay, and engage more effectively with vulnerable customers who are not. Although consumer credit authorisation is not essential to operations in this sector, Ofwat is encouraging it, and now, many water and wider utility businesses are insisting on it as a quality benchmark for their operations.

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