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|1st Credit secures ISO standard on vulnerability|
|Wednesday, 15 February 2017|
Ethical debt purchaser 1st Credit has become the first in its field to be externally assessed to the requirements of the ISO Standard BS 18477:2010 – Requirements for identifying and responding to consumer vulnerability. The standard was developed by consumer organisations, charities and government bodies to encourage the use of fair, ethical and inclusive practices.
An assessment from an independent certification body took place in January 2017. The team successfully demonstrated how vulnerable individuals are identified by call centre handlers and directed to specialist support staff. It was acknowledged that 1st Credit adopts policies and procedures throughout the business to ensure the needs of vulnerable consumers are considered and accommodated.
The auditor said there was commitment from senior management, with a team specifically created within the collections department to deal with vulnerable clients and all staff trained in recognising signs of physical, mental health or mental capacity limitations.
The specialist team is staffed throughout office hours and uses the TEXAS and IDEA methods to engage with customers. TEXAS ensures customers are taken through the process of consenting to their data being used, identifying the impact their situation has on their ability to repay their debts, and signposting to appropriate sources of help.
1st Credit Chief Executive Eddie Nott said: “We are delighted to be accredited with this ISO standard for our work in identifying and dealing appropriately with vulnerable customers. Our team works hard to create a high-quality customer experience and ensure that collections activity is suspended where necessary – signposting individuals to appropriate sources of help and ensuring their repayments are manageable in their circumstances.”
ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organisation with a membership of 161 national standards bodies. It brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, international standards.
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