[INSIGHTS]: Stepchange Partner Event

A great session with the StepChange team yesterday.  Definitely some interesting ideas and insights everything from hearing from StepChange clients and how they have helped them, to how they are investing in technology to help more clients in the future.

They are clearly also seeing benefits partnering with firms to move forward at speed… firms such as CnR, ClearScore and Amplified Global… this in addition to working creditors, vendors across financial services and utilities…

It was nice to hear Sheldon Mills from the FCA speak too.  He made a couple of interesting comments I thought.

  1. The debt advice sector cannot realistically speak to everyone in person, we are going to have to find innovative ways to help more people… this is likely going to have to involve digital approaches in some form
  2. Complementary on the collaborative approach seen from much of the Financial Services sector and how they are working to harmonise approaches for treatment of vulnerability/financial difficulties across multiple industry regulators
  3. A recognition around the principles-based approach for Consumers Duty, being relatively unique.  Undoubtedly some of this is new, but ultimately can be more powerful and there was a recognition that they need to work through this with the industry… this was a positive message… although it did sound like they are and will be working to review the fair value assessments somewhat earlier, driven by circumstance it seems.

Paul Chong from Ophelos was there to stoke up debate on AI and John Griffith-Jones explained the size of the challenge around consumers with negative disposable income… the next frontier in terms of debt support.

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All in an interesting day.

A few more comments from my notebook below

  1. Collaboration and continuous improvement are essential in addressing financial difficulties and poverty.
  2. Financial organizations must take responsibility for supporting individuals in crisis situations.
  3. There’s a need to provide comprehensive support beyond just energy-related issues.
  4. Sponsors and partners are playing a crucial role in addressing financial crises.
  5. Sharing best practices and insights benefits the entire sector.
  6. Funding for support services is inadequate and needs improvement.
  7. Significant strain on advice sector resources due to increasing demand for support services.
  8. Stepchange Launch of new branding
  9. Launch of new partner committment policies for partners

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