The shortlist for Credit Strategy’s Collections & Customer Service Awards 2016 has been announced, with 45 finalists in the running to win 12 awards.
In its 10th year, the scheme has seen an influx of entries across a diverse range of existing and new categories. In particular, categories such as Vulnerable Customer Support Initiative, which has been split into two sub-categories of ‘creditor’ and ‘non-creditor’ features some of the UK’s largest financial services and utilities firms.
This year it includes Barclaycard and British Gas as well as debt purchasers, debt counselling firms and peer-to-peer companies, such as Zopa, Cabot Credit Management and StepChange Debt Charity.
The public sector is well represented with entries from local and central government. The line-up for Public Sector Collections Team of the Year includes HMRC’s Accelerated Payments Team, a new stand-alone operation dedicated to recovering debts incurred by the use of tax avoidance schemes.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office has nominated Indesser – the joint venture between the government and TDX Group which works with the DwP, Home Office, HMRC and Student Loans Company to optimise debt recovery for central departments.
Finally North Warwickshire Borough Council has made the shortlist with an innovative approach to financial inclusion.
Kamala Panday, publishing director at Credit Strategy, said: “After a decade symbolising best practice in a sector marked by change, from the creation of the UK debt sale sector, to the end of self-regulation and resulting overhaul in approaches to customer conduct, it is perhaps no surprise that this scheme has reinvented itself several times both in name and in terms of categories on offer.”
She added: “This year is no exception, and we are delighted to see entries in abundance from the largest creditors, the government, who last year made the decision to use the private sector to help solve the multi-billion pound cross-governmental debt problem.”
In keeping with previous years, the 2016 judging panel features Britain’s biggest banks such as RBS, HSBC and Santander, along with MBNA, National Australia Group, Tesco Bank, Vanquis Bank and the Credit Services Association.
Other new categories include award categories that reward those operating within contact centres. They and all finalists will discover who takes home the trophies in front of more than 400 guests at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on November 24.
Once again, the awards night follows the Collections, Debt Sale & Purchase Conference during the day at the same venue.
This year the conference has more than 30 speakers and features a UK as well as a European debt sale and purchase stream, reflecting the continuing trend of UK debt purchasers becoming more pan European. Speakers reflect both UK creditors such as Scottish Power and Yorkshire Bank as well as European lenders such as BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Banca IFIS.
The full list of finalists can be found here.
You can get more information on the event, as well as book tickets here.