As we continue ensuring that our customers can access the financial products and services they need, no matter where they are on their journey, we know that we have a duty to support customers if they experience financial difficulties.
This is why a key pillar of our community investment programme focuses on providing grants to charities and specialist partners to address issues such as customer vulnerability and financial difficulties. These organisations also guide and advise our colleagues to support our customers when addressing these kinds of issues
Working with charities and specialist partners
While our businesses work to collect outstanding debt from customers, they sometimes enter debt agreement plans with leading debt charities, such as StepChange – This charity helps hundreds of thousands of people a year to deal with their debt problems. With 30 years’ experience, they offer free, flexible debt advice that is based on a comprehensive assessment of your situation. StepChange will then provide practical help and support you need to achieve long-term financial control.
customers became debt free
repaid to clients debts
We continue to accept the offers of payment when customers have sought advice from StepChange and a financial assessment has been made of their circumstances. Through the agreement we have with this charity, we contribute almost 12% of any payment we receive from a customer who has entered a debt agreement plan with them. The contributions mean our operating businesses pay for the debt advice received by the customer. They also provide the charities with financial support so that they can continue to provide free, independent advice.
During 2022, the Group’s operating companies paid £451,247 (2021: £477,251) to StepChange and CAP in fair share contributions.
people were helped in 2021
visits were made to the advice website in 2022
staff members trained 1,010 creditor organisations
The Money Charity
For over 25 years The Money Charity (TMC) has been the UK’s Financial Capability charity and their vision is that everyone achieves Financial Wellbeing by managing their money well, empowering people across the UK to develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to make the most of their money throughout their lives. By proactively providing education, information, advice and guidance to people of all ages and at all stages of life, they help them get to grips with their money and increase their Financial Wellbeing.
In 2022 we provided support to TMC, which enabled them to deliver: 209 hours’ worth of financial education workshops to 4,948 young people; and 78 hours’ worth of financial wellbeing workshops to 954 adults. At our request TMC prioritises supporting the most disadvantaged students and hard to reach groups.
In 2022, 83% of those in the young people workshops came from disadvantaged groups. Likewise, the adult workshops supported service users, staff and volunteers in charities assisting carers, vulnerable young adults, people experiencing homelessness, women fleeing domestic violence and those with a refugee background.
Of the 55 sessions TMC delivered to adults in 2022, 45 were virtual workshops or webinars and 10 were delivered face-to-face. This was possible because in 2021 we provided funding so that TMC could convert, and refresh, its learning resources to be delivered online. The rationale at that time was to ensure that schools and adult groups impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions could continue to access this support.
We also supported the production of four promotional videos by the charity to ensure awareness of this assistance amongst those who could benefit from it. We are pleased that this new promotional tool has helped maintain the profile of TMC’s workshops and ensured that individuals right across the UK have participated in and benefited from taking part in workshops.