Moving upstream?… Debt Advice in a changing economy

In this interview with Vanessa Northam from StepChange we discuss the current situation, with the increasing cost of living affecting everyone, and what they are seeing within their sector and the need for Debt Advice.

It is clearly going to be hard to predict in detail where this will impact, but we do know that it will also start to impact new cohorts of customers in new ways too, with impacts being seen in different industries at different times.

Lastly, we chat a little about the future of debt advice. With new funding structures announced it will likely change the dynamics in the sector… something to watch closely as this evolves.

Find out more about StepChange-> Here.

Interview Transcript
0:03
So hi, everyone. I’m here with Vanessa Northam today. She’s the head of charity development at step change one of the leading debt charities in the UK. So, Vanessa, thanks very much for joining me today.

0:14
Thanks very much, Chris. Good to see.

0:17
So I thought, first off, I think it’d be just good to get your perspective in terms of obviously, we’ve got a lot in the media around the cost of living crisis, but just really, I suppose, what are you seeing in terms of like, volumes that are coming through or change the volumes that are coming through? Is that sort of, like filters filters through?

0:32
Yeah, so I mean, it’s, it’s an unprecedented cost of living crisis. And I think we’re all sort of grappling as to what that is going to mean over the next two, three years. So I mean, if I look at sort of existing clients a step change, so those of people that are running on the management plans or the solutions, they’re very much coming to us, you know, out of sync with sort of annual reviews to say, look, you know, my, I mean, obviously, I’m paraphrasing, but my affordability is challenged, because they are they are needing to review that that plan, and to see whether that is still affordable, or indeed, if that’s the right solution. So we’ve seen a significant increase in existing clients coming to us. Some people obviously, are in a situation where they can’t afford a bit more, maybe they’ve made savings over COVID. But in the main, it’s people sort of coming to us to look at coming off the plan, reducing the payments, or potentially moving to complete re advice and looking for other solutions. So that’s, that’s been a big feature of the last three to six months. When we look at new clients and people coming to us for the first time, we’re definitely seeing quite a different cohort coming through in terms of those that are going on to plans. We’re seeing a greater surplus. So that would suggest that that people are coming to us with higher salaries, and probably didn’t think they’d ever need to come for this advice. because, clearly, we know from our research that on average people take 12 months before they come to us after the point of crisis. And if you think about Coronavirus, and where we are now with the cost of living crisis, it’s it’s no real surprise that there’s people coming with a different set of issues. So in terms of you know how that continues in terms of volumes. I think, during during the pandemic we talked about the tsunami didn’t wait. And it just hasn’t materialised. And I think there’s there’s a number of facets to that. I think there was a significant amount of government help. But also we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forbearance and support and solutions from from in the main I would say the banking sector, particularly, you know, the payment holidays, but more broadly than that. So, in terms of when do we think I mean, volumes, obviously, are coming through. And we have seen seasonal, seasonal out. And so we you know, normally by this time of year, as we know, for those in the sector, you’d start to see a sort of reduction, and then you’d see that starting to really yeah, really uptick in the new year. But actually, I mean, the volumes that we’re seeing in November from creditor referrals are significantly up. So people are obviously taking heed and getting some advice and not waiting until the new year.

3:45
So it sounds like in terms of like disposable income. It sounds like it’s really that that expenditure pieces gradually creeping up. And so those people who are already in financial difficulties, those already on plans, I mean, they’re there, they’re having, you know, having conversations about how do they renew plans, right, and if that’s a difficult conversation, but you’re sort of getting that new sort of like a creeping because of the creeping increase the cost you’re getting new people are getting caught in the net is that is that

4:09
it’s, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time over the last three or four weeks out and out and about and hearing all sorts of predictions or insights from experience, to credit strategy to utility week and so on. And I think we all know that. It is it is a multiple impact that’s causing, as you say, a significant stranglehold on that expenditure costs with no sight of obviously pay rises or pay rises that are at least going to be able to complete with inflation. And everybody is saying that, you know, the next 18 months, at least two years is going to be a continual impact on inflation and do prices, mortgage rates, interest rates, etc. So, seeing that expenditure impact is driving people who may be Thought they sort of survived COVID? And could whether in maybe of terms of credit or the borrowing, but now they’re now obviously that surplus is just not meeting the day to day needs.

5:11
How ready? Do you think we are as an industry for it where we’re used to seeing so light shocks coming through? So it’s like we can understand it’s like, Oh, something big has happened. And that’s what we thought we started COVID is like, I was a big shock, when are we going to put things in place? But this almost like creeping increase is almost like, harder to harder to handle? Isn’t it? Even for consumers? Because, like, when do you when do you say, well, now now we’re in a crisis versus not because it’s it’s only a little bit different than it was yesterday, which is a little bit different. That was the day before and it’s, but over time, it really adds up?

5:41
Absolutely. And I think it will try to look at parallels from from our way, haven’t we to say, you know, what, what can we draw from it? And you’re absolutely right, you know, job loss, mass redundancies, bereavement, you know, relationship breakdown, or ill health and causing that inability to earn. This is not an inability to earn this is like you say, it’s just a series of ongoing squeezes and squeezes and squeezes. And it’s, it’s going to be incredibly hard to predict what is the, what’s gonna be the driver of people to suddenly start defaulting on or not paying? And I’ve heard debates over the last sort of two or three weeks, you know, is it going to be the mortgage? You know, I think it’s 30% of people are going to be coming off their mortgage in in April or q2, is it going to be that is it going to be car finance, you know, the increase in you know, the cost of cars, the lack of depreciation, because of all the challenges with parts and chips, and, and all of that. So, if you look at somebody, you know, to quote for children, to cars, or mortgage, etc, if you start to look at what their current disposable income is, and then you start to add in based on averages, so mortgage PCP inflation, energy bills, I mean, you know, I was talking to somebody at a conference the other week, when his mortgage comes to an end, it could be as much as 1000 pound a month. Now, that’s probably an extreme case. But you’re talking an impact on expenditure that’s in the in the high hundreds, you know, if you add it all up, and I think that’s why I think I’d be looking in terms of insight and data and the modelling of what is going to be the catalyst that that actually starts people down down a route where they do need support and help and not turn to additional borrowing, which is going to be increasingly Well, we know, we know that. That’s inherently invariably what people do. But this is a new cohort of people that have probably got well managed credit at the moment.

7:48
I mean, do you think we’ll ever gonna see it as a wave that comes through? I mean, we were at some of the same same events, and we’re talking about, you know, sort of pressure that’s building up, or do you think it’s just always just going to, it’s just always just gonna keep on leaking and increasing? Where do you think we sit first?

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8:04
I wish I knew I asked that question. I think I think the jury’s out. And I think it will be a continuous sort of wave upon the show, I think we need to forget this massive wave. Because when you talk to major banks, and again, at the experience conference, it isn’t materialising in significant enough volume for it to start, you know, the anecdotes have been getting well, we’re seeing we’re seeing bits of it. But maybe it’s not going to be a massive spike that we’re all used to seeing the cause of an income shock. It’s going to be ripples, and ripples, and ripples, and ripples and ripples. And how do you resource for that? How do you develop forbearance for that? How do you you know, how do you forecast for that? So that’s, that’s the challenge and how how a consumer is going to know when to ask for help. Because if you’ve, you know, if you’ve been made redundant or you’ve lost a job, the first thing I mean, in my mind, I’d be phoning my mortgage provider and going, right, this has happened. But if it’s kind of, it’s a bit like the, you know, the older sort of cliche, you knew, you don’t boil the frog by point, putting it in boiling water, you just turning the heat up, that is going to be the real challenge. And I think organisations, you know, need to be thinking about their customer engagement strategies, their marketing, their messaging, and we’re starting to see this through television ads. You know, normalising it I’ve talked a lot about that over the last three, four weeks about normalising support and encouraging dialogue. That is going to be the key, I think, over the next two to three years.

9:48
And obviously, the debt advice sector has pretty close links to a lot of collections departments in a lot of sort of creditors, right. I mean, that’s, you know, so, you know, we would talk pretty closely I mean, what do you think, are you finding that that the banks and sort of your client’s essentially, the creditors and utilities etc. are they doing more upstream than they ever happened before? I mean, is that sort of message going through in terms of almost that, that pre collections, pre arrears kind of support? Because there’s a whole marketing exercise you can do there to say, if you need help, even though you don’t at the moment, you can you can reach out here. So when they do, and if they do, and hopefully they don’t, then they know where to go.

10:22
Yeah. So I think if I was to take those sectors, individually, I think, I think the banking sector, most definitely, we’re doing early intervention trials to assess even if people are ready for that advice, or indeed need need them. And I think, yes, absolutely. There’s a there’s a huge amount, because we all know that everybody’s looking for the signs. And the best sign of all, is when you can actually engage with that customer. So So yes, there is more and more being done. Way before collections and pre arrays. I mean, I use this anecdote, but you know, I applied for a credit card a couple of couple of months ago, just to see what what messages were on that, you know, that letter that you get, and you can fill the whole plastic in? Yeah, brilliant. Yeah, here we go. Go get my balance transfers moving. But there’s not a single line on there about anything to do with support or help. If anything changes, it was all about spending. And, you know, I might be a frog right now in tact, you know. So 87 degrees water, but I don’t know whether that’s you know, and I think that’s, that’s, that’s a real key pivotal point, because I talk, I literally had a call with one of the major banks this morning, and they’re saying, you know, we’re really struggling to get people to engage with us. And it’s like, well, at the point that you’re, you’re struggling, it’s really, really hard. We have, obviously huge amounts of research and data as why that’s the case. So it has got to be much more formidable, say, when it comes to utilities, I think that that isn’t the case, there are more limited levels of support and forbearance. And I think, from a utilities perspective, you know, they’ve always had a very core base of direct debit payers who never materialised into collections. And, you know, a fairly sort of foundational base to get to keep that that in. And obviously, that is massively massively changed now. And so the the amount of support and forbearance that’s available is tends to be very much focused on more vulnerable acutely vulnerable customers, as opposed to people who are struggling. That’s that’s a massive challenge. And as I say, I spent time at utility week event and hearing about that, but there’s no sort of silver bullet there. I don’t think because the early engagement and, you know, trying to save energy and do all these things, you know, it’s a little late for some people.

12:57
Yeah, the question is going to ask you just going back to consumer duty as an example. So there’s direction of travel, that’s happening, right consumer duty, making sure you’re getting good outcomes, which a lot of people have been trying to do anyway. But now it’s been regulated and more robust form, I suppose. But do you think that’s, do you think that’s part of it, almost like how do we have much more sort of end to end kind of view around customer relationships, more transparent, sort of honest relationships with with with customers? I mean, is that do you think that is that the direction of travel that I mean, even if we do go into a downturn with financial different, more financial difficulties, it, it sort of engenders that kind of approach to having an honest relationship with your customers?

13:34
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, instead of looking at customers with a real potential certain point to go bad, so to speak, is just assume that at some point, there’s going to be something happens to your customer, and they’re going to need you. And they’re going to need some support, financially, and design. With that in mind. And, you know, we’ve all, you know, we’ve all got various sort of financial products, and maybe at certain times in our life, we needed support, but it’s, it’s quite, I think, it’s quite challenging our sector to understand the lived experience, because most of us understand exactly how collections works. And, you know, in my 20s, I got into into problem with with finances, but it’s been a heck of a long, long time. And indeed, I was speaking to one organisation saying, well, we’re not allowed to get into debt. We’re not allowed to carry a balance. And it’s like, how you therefore designing journeys to support customers, if you if you’re massively limiting that lived experience, I think, you know, there’s a report out for money and Mental Health Institute, literally, today, you know, about the impact of that collections processes. So, you know, if you could sort of read around the block and do Designing for all of that you, you’re much more likely to get that engagement and then understand the customer situation and say, Actually, we can help but you’ve got a lot more going on. And that’s, as you know, the role of densifies.

15:13
I suppose there’s also a bit of reflection that I was pulled up on this, in terms of just do you already understand customer situation and the dynamics? Or how, how hopeless because we’ve all got our own backgrounds. But you know, we’ve got to really understand that from a customer’s point of view, haven’t we?

15:27
Yeah, I mean, I, my sister in law, as been really struggling with her energy supplier. And she’s saying, you know, they’re threatening this, they’re taking this up my bank account, the metre stopped working. So I said all have you done this? And you’ve done that? And she’s like, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. It’s like, right, bring the bills over here. We’ll sort it. So took us about half an hour to get through, did the sort of right Vanessa’s supporting the account? And, you know, I just went right? She needs this, she needs that you need to organise this, she can’t do this. She’s got this. And I and she just said what Where did you learn to do all of that. And that’s the challenge. She she she didn’t know there was how, for the all the vagaries of things that were going on in her life. And at the end of the, you know, the end of the call, she had got some breathing space, we’d got on the priority services register, which requested for the metre to be exchanged all active, you know, there was there was so much there going on. And this is an articulate, you know, degree educated, you know, a woman he just didn’t know. And I think we assume, you know, that consumers are well informed, educated, have the capability and the capacity to be able to advocate on their behalf and know what to ask for. And that’s the real challenge, isn’t it? And it’s so, you know, obviously, we’re talking about telephony. First and foremost, but again, you know, trying to do that digitally would have been even more challenging,

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16:57
reducing the debt, it’s by sector sort of getting even further upstream in terms of like, into that much more sort of customer care type type type scenario, or even the acquisitions and just being much more bigger advocates as much as we do signposting in in collections, but doing that, and being much more part of that the earlier customer journey as well.

17:15
I mean, in an absolute ideal world. Yes. And I think I think the challenge again, it comes about, you know, what is what is the purpose of debt advice. And, you know, if you see as as the point of ever crisis, and you know, all bets are off, then you will resist, obviously, coming coming to our services before you know, you’re in you’re in challenge. And in a previous role. We did some market research and some focus groups. And you know, we had a specific cohort of consumers that we knew were heavily indebted. And they referenced all I know about sort of Citizens Advice and step change, but the situation isn’t that bad. And that is that’s a real barrier. Because how do we how do we, and I say we, as the sector, but also collections is, how are we highlighting what support there is available? Because it’s more than just, you know, a solution. It’s about budgeting, it’s about income maximisation, it’s about, you know, self employed, calculate, you know, all the things that we that we’ve got available to start to unpick, actually, what what help and what could this look like, because it’s it’s a big thing to turning to advice. It’s yeah,

18:33
and we all lead increasingly complicated financial lives in even in terms of like, we have might have different credit cards, you might have different different online accounts versus you know, your own account, you open when you were a child, or, you know, and you have different like lending products. I mean, it is quite complicated. Even things like mobile phones and sort of, you know, motor finance, I mean, and it adds up. And you’ve got just the brainpower to sort of enter the attention, I suppose span to sort of, like, manage all these things, when you’ve already got busy life is difficult.

19:02
And also, that you and I and other people watching this call will know, what support is available, what the triggers are, you know, so I, you know, if you as a consumer who are struggling, and the first call that you make is to the council tax and your you’ve missed two payments already, that conversation is going to look quite different to a first call to financial service provider, where you’re saying you’re going to struggle to make the first minimum payment now. You and I would know Well, that’s because, you know, you need to engage with council tax, you know, and there’ll be other people who are saying, Well, I’m not going to pay my, my my energy bill because they can’t disconnect me, but we would never say that then starts to impact your credit rating and you could end up you know, with a false fit prepayment metre. And it’s different depend, you know, let alone different policies within different organisations, the myriad of sectors. So you know, That’s That’s a massive, massive challenge for for consumers to navigate and to know what to ask for and know what their rights are and know what they’re allowed to, to ask for.

20:09
It’s a bit of a minefield, I suppose that’s why you that’s why you can get specialist help. Right. So which is yeah,

20:15
that’s it. And, you know, what we’re able to do is see the whole of the iceberg. And I use this analogy quite, quite often, you know, we see, we saw this in the early stages of breathing space, you know, organisations going, you know, these people you’re putting on breathing space or in our books, you know, why, and we got a significant amount of challenge. And then, through those accounts being viewed and eyeballed and analysed, actually, there were some early early warning signals, and they weren’t being acted on. And that that’s another challenge is, you know, we’ve got all this data we can look at, but what is the what is the action? You know, what is the messaging? Because there’s a, I would imagine, a fear of sort of complaints and saying, How dare you think that, you know, I’m struggling? I mean, I think, you know, persistent that in the in, you know, pre pandemic, you know, a lot of people, a lot of consumers were hugely disgruntled with, you know, being told that, you know, that they were going to actually lose access to the cars, and yet they’ve been paying all the time. And and it comes down to really effective engagement and communication and learning the lessons I think from from that sort of that

21:25
activity. I’m assuming somebody comes back to watch the relationship we have with our financial products as well. And you’re like, how do we have that sort of transparent relationship? Which is the consumer duty piece? I think it’s coming through

21:35
as well. Yeah. And I don’t know about anybody watching. But I’ve been surprised at how little messaging I’ve had from my myriad of financial service providers, and I, I do have a lot of products, because I’m interested in seeing how they all work. But I think I’ve had it’s only one, it’s, it’s my, this my main bank that my salary goes into, and it’s only them, I’ve not seen anything, whether it’s email, text, nothing targeted, and it doesn’t need to be targeted. It doesn’t need to say, Vanessa, you know, we’ve seen, we think you’re doing XY and Z. But it could just be a look, we know, there’s a cost of living crisis, if you need our help. It’s, I’ve been really surprised at how little there hasn’t been.

22:23
There’s that getting out there early marketing? I mean, more generally, I mean, how do you find creditors reacting to the situation, and particularly, maybe just chat a little bit around things like technology, and there’s been a lot of work to sort of like train trying to link things together to make it seem more seamless for the consumer? How do you sort of see that kind of develop developing and what sort of things are, are in the works from a creditor point of view? Yeah, so

22:44
I think it’s fair to say there’s been a, you know, a significant shift and a focus to online. From a collections perspective mean, if you, if you go back three or four years, when I was in a previous role, we did, no, we did a huge amount of research to say, Okay, who has got an online collections journey where I can do my uni that I can do my payment plan and keep it up to date. And I think I think we found one or two, and everybody said, you need to call us, I haven’t done the research since to say what that now looks like. But but we know, we know that there’s been a significant investment to do that. And quite, quite rightly, rightly. So. In terms of sort of the future of how, you know, the expectations of consumers in a world where you’ve got an Amazon, and then you come into the world of collections, and particularly with likely the new cohort of consumers who have never found themselves in this situation, and no idea what happens on a collections call, what will their expectations be? And how difficult and how friction fall? And how much customer effort is there going to be when they’re used to doing things? You know, and how do we make sure that it doesn’t feel punitive? Because suddenly find yourself in the situation? So I think, seamless integration, sharing data, sharing support needs, getting people at the right stage in the journey into debt advice. I mean, those are all things that I’m really, really focused on. So, you know, we’ve been looking at digital signposting and how effective that is, and how to we need to solve for that. So we’ve been working with with new day, to sort of say, okay, so if if, if you’re going to signpost to us, and you don’t have the conversation with an advisor that explains why you need it. How are we going to how are we going to improve that experience? So we’ve done that and that’s now been launched as called stepchange direct. It’s a money health check as opposed to need to go to that device. Here’s this cold landing page. And we’re seeing the conversion go up seven fold, and that’s now been rolled out to a number of tier one banks and You know, will really help patchily as we go into increased periods of demand to, you know, obviously, telephony online work interchangeably because it’s omni channel, but you know, there are going to be times when it’s going to take a while to get through to us. And that’s why starting online is really, really important.

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25:19
It does feel like there’s maturity that’s coming up around sort of digital processing, it’s almost like, you know, but wait way back, it was always like, we’re going to be digital, we’re just gonna automate our processes gonna be digital, or it’s always always going to be sort of like, you know, on the telephone, but there’s similar there’s maturity is coming up around like, what, how do you tweak it to make it almost like everything integrated? And so at some point, you might need to talk with someone, but at some point, maybe you don’t, and you don’t want to as well. And it’s like, how do you sort of build that maturity up is, it feels like that’s what we’re evolving to?

25:46
Yes. And I have to add, definitely seeing some, some examples of that. I mean, if I look at something like a utility, I’m a big fan of octopus energy, and the way that they’re interacting with me at the moment, you know, I’m lucky to have a smart metre. And I’m lucky to be a fairly informed consumer, but I’m having opportunities to sort of cut my consumption over a set period of time to gain money off my bill. And and it’s just beyond easy. It’s one way I can I’m in and, you know, so that’s seamless integration, it’s about reducing that customer effort. And if you look at your collections journey, and think, how effortless is it versus effort full, it’s, it’s pretty, it’s pretty tiresome. And if you’re doing that, on average, people have around nine deaths that we see you doing that nine times, nine different ways. And I think, in the designing of the journey, it’s it’s not forcing your customer because you want them to do a certain thing. It’s about having, you know, sometimes we just want to speak to somebody. And sometimes I just don’t want to do it all online. And it’s how, you know, how are we? How are we how the journey is designed in that way? So it’s not saying, Well, you get to this state, then you need to phone us or you can only do that on the telephone, or you can only do that online, and then we’ll call you. Yeah.

27:09
monuments. So obviously, there’s been big changes in terms of the debt advice sector with funding announcements that come out. And I know that sort of, I’ve seen I’ve seen press releases from you guys really around that I suppose you’re just good to get get your opinion, I suppose in terms like, where you think it sort of evolves from here, because it’s quite a big change in terms of like, at least some of the funding on how that can that kind of works? And you know, how that sort of you think that’s going to kind of change the sector? Really?

27:33
Yeah, it’s been an interesting couple of months. So I mean, you know, the money and pension, the service commissioning outcome results in around about a 15%, income drop at clarity. And when when your role is to be accountable for funding, you know, that that’s an incredibly big, big gap. So in a roundabout way, it it kind of re Reve surfaces a conversation and and a challenge that I think we’ve all been sort of kicking about, about what is the right way to fund a service. And, you know, everybody below, probably watching the call that obviously we receive a fair share. And then there’s been times when we’ve obviously had to ask for additional funding. And I think the time is right now, right. And I know that this conversation is going to start in earnest in the new year to look at, you know, for those organisations that are non funded, so ourselves Payplan non lapse funded, rather, you know, what, there is huge value. You know, that’s that’s one thing that we’ve definitely heard over the last couple months that, you know, we provide a valuable service. And right now, you know, creditors are worried about about about that. So, I think we will come come together and work with predominantly the financial services sector, because they tend to be the mainstay of funding. We’ve been working incredibly hard this year to elicit a greater degree of funding from the utility sector, because the, the number of utility companies referring to us is and the volume is significant, and that sector hasn’t, you know, isn’t obligated to pay but we have sort of brought about the largest amount of funding we ever have from that sector, but, but that conversation needs to be ongoing. So I don’t I don’t see it just being our sort of financial services and UK finance conversation. You know, we’re talking to OFGEM, we talked to energy UK, and you know, some of those organisations have had, you know, have really stepped up and others have really not.

29:37
So, especially with the cost with energy costs going up, right. I mean, that sort of becomes I mean, and everything’s kind of LinkedIn, it was not like they’re, they’re different, different consumers. They are all the same customer. And you know, and it’s one thing that will just end up triggering something else as it comes through some it’s

29:53
some analysis to look at. And it’s, it’s really challenging to try and sort of cost The Energy customers because invariably, their ongoing consumptions is still the main issue. Whereas you can crystallise a credit card and put that into that management plan. You know, that doesn’t work as well for utilities than that, that’s an age old problem as we know. But it’s, we looked, and we’re protecting at the moment. So if you think about when people come to debt advice, you know, you go through an income expenditure, and you do priorities first, and utilities is a priority, we’re protecting in those income and expenditure just for utility referrals, about 80 million pounds of, of monthly expenditure, you know, across the year, and if I was to tell you, you know, that we’ve received, you know, significantly less significantly less than that in terms of funding so that we do need to solve for that, and that’s something that was, you know, my background and energy, and I’m, I’m very keen to, to address.

30:55
So it sounds like semaphore is a bit of review around, like, how everything sort of fits together. And it’s been a very sort of, like, it’s sort of evolved over time it feels to me, and it’s sort of, you know, and it’s sort of work, but now this is sort of upsetting the, the process to a little to a certain extent, and now, it’s like, we just need to just understand how everything kind of fits together, and it’s gonna sort of force that discussion. Yeah. And I

31:15
think, you know, to your original point, you know, debt advice and collections have tended to be at a big life event and a big income shock. And we are in a world that still happen, you know, there’s likely to be job losses, there’s, you know, there’s, there’s a whole heap of pain to come, no, no doubt. But what is, you know, what is the service in a, you know, that, that boiling the frog, and, and, and, you know, what’s the sort of evolution of the service? And what’s the role that we can play? And what, what’s the funding for that? And, you know, we believe in a society, you know, our vision, and our mission is a society free from problem debt. And who knows, you know, it might be that actually, earlier interventions and education and I don’t mean financial education from a sort of an academic perspective, but, you know, what are those telltale signs that we all know about, but consumers are probably going Oh, be fine.

32:13
Well, Vanessa, thanks very much for making the time to chat as many as fascinating as always, and we always cover lots of different topics whenever we chat and sort of gets endorses interesting things. So yeah, maybe we’ll see how the sort of the next six months kind of panned out. I mean, it’s concerning for it’s concerning for everyone. Really, I think that’s that’s for sure.

32:30
uncharted territory for everyone right now. And I think keeping talking and keeping the conversation and sharing insights is absolutely critical.


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