Bristow & Sutor share insight with Coventry debt advice providers

As part of its ongoing support to Coventry City Council, Bristow & Sutor, one of the UK’s leading players specialising in debt recovery, recently delivered virtual training sessions to staff from Coventry Citizens’ Advice & Coventry Independent Advice Service.

Bristow & Sutor has over 42 years’ experience in the collection of local council tax, non-domestic rates and unpaid Penalty Charge Notices. The company prides itself on delivering an ethical, compliant and high-quality service to the public and private sectors. The presentation provided to Coventry Citizens’ Advice & Coventry Independent Advice Service centred around the different stages of the enforcement process and aimed to ensure all attendees understood how Bristow & Sutor conduct their work, as well as sharing insight into some of the social responsibility and customer welfare initiatives the business currently engages in.

Information was also provided on the Bristow & Sutor Independent Advisory Panel, which is helping the business towards its ambition of being recognised as the most responsible, transparent and innovative provider of enforcement and debt collection services in the UK. It is hoped that providing channels of communication around these processes and conducting post-presentation Q&A sessions will help overcome misconceptions or preconceived ideas around enforcement firm attitudes towards supporting people who find themselves in debt.

The session was well attended and positively received, with 100% of those to complete a post-session questionnaire stating the event was informative and left them feeling more confident to speak to clients about the recovery process. Helen Addis, Social Responsibility and Customer Welfare Manager was one of the presenters on the day, she said, “Debt advice professionals must have a strong and accurate understanding of the enforcement process so that they can discuss options confidently when these conversations arise. Bristow & Sutor has made significant strides in social responsibility and customer welfare initiatives in recent times and it is in the best interest of debt advisors to understand what this involves, so they can best inform those they engage with. We were delighted at the level of interest displayed during our session in Coventry and the desire of many attendees to receive more information about our community work. Consequently, future sessions in other regions are set to be planned for the coming months.”

Bristow & Sutor has a long history of supporting people in conjunction with both the debt advice sector and Local Authorities. The company trains its Enforcement Agents (formerly known as bailiffs) to spot signs of vulnerability and immediately refers people to specialist welfare and safeguarding teams when these needs are identified. Bristow & Sutor employees are directly employed and are not paid based on the performance of one visit, their goal remains to help find the best solution and not focus purely on achieving immediate revenue.

All members of staff at Bristow & Sutor have been trained on the use of PPE and must pass an industry approved course before being allowed to conduct visits. They are not permitted to enter properties currently, so any resolution found is done so in a socially distanced manner from the doorstep. This year, the business obtained NQA COVID Secure Verification accreditation, an independent review that provides assurance measures in place successfully mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 per government guidelines. The business has also recently donated boxes of PPE to various Citizens Advice Bureau and local authority offices across the country, to help ensure important community work can continue safely at this difficult time.