Skip to content
All posts

Changes in the UK Debt Landscape

Ahead of the GovDebt Conference on 11th October, we are speaking with our expert speakers to find out their thoughts on the current issues that are affecting the sector.

In this blog, we asked our speakers "How do you think the debt landscape will change in the UK in the next 3-5 years?"

Steven Coppard-1


Steven Coppard, Group Director of Debt Policy and Strategy, Arum | Just

"Without a doubt we will see more of a move towards digital innovation that addresses more of a customer’s financial life than just the debt element. We’re already seeing the industry make use of income maximisation through benefits calculators, and budget maximisation through social tariffs, financial education apps using behavioural science, like Nudge, for example but it’s more extensive than that – digital is about making engagement easy – the use of QR codes for example – they are virtually free to include in physical and digital communications and once the customer has a device in their hand to scan the code, they’re already halfway there. We’re also seeing a move towards longer inbound calls, so digital isn’t just a nice-to-have – it is a must have to free up human resource so that agents can spend it where they are actually needed.

If you gave me a magic wand though – I would have a single, over-arching piece of debt legislation that ensured the principles of debt resolution were the same, regardless of whether the debt was publicly or privately owned.

Russell Hamblin-Boone-1


Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief Executive Officer, CIVEA

"More use of technology will enable people to take control of their own circumstances. Auto decisioning and self-serve debt management solutions will be adopted by local authorities, so that they can respond with personalised support for individuals. Moving away from a one-size fits all approach to public debt recovery will reduce household debt for everyday costs. Tailored communications using behavioural analytics will be used more widely to engage people and ensure early intervention to prevent problem debt."

Matthew Hooper-1


Matthew Hooper, Senior Category Lead, CCS

"The future is all about consumer experience, individualising this, reducing barriers to engagement, facilitating 'self cure' solutions and consumer empowerment. To achieve this the collections and recoveries landscape will need to learn from other consumer facing sectors, such as retail, in how seamless consumer journeys can be facilitated, whilst ensuring support remains and is accessible for those that need it, and those that are actively disengaged are also appropriately managed. Creditors need to maximise their entire toolkit, from inhouse collections all the way through to litigation and enforcement, but ensure these tools are used proportionately and appropriately. I'm optimistic about the new Enforcement Conduct Board and, if this gets the support it needs from creditors and suppliers, this could have a really positive impact on the enforcement sector."

Bob Winnington-1


Bob Winnington, Chief Executive Officer, MALG

"At the onset of the pandemic, we were expecting a 'tsunami' of demand for debt advice and it didn't happen straight away. Commentators then predicted that the full economic impact would be delayed and we are now seeing that impact coupled with rising inflation and cost of living pressures, creating a 'perfect storm' for those in financial difficulty. In the next 3-5 years we expect to see a much greater pressure on household finances with many who have never experienced debt problems before doing so for the first time. This will not only increase demand for advice, but also force lenders and others to think even more carefully about how they treat customers to prevent further unnecessary harm. It is also making lenders consider how they can reach out to customers to pre-empt any difficulties they may encounter."

Join us on 11th October at etc. venues St Pauls, to hear from industry leaders and finance and debt professionals from across the UK. Purchase your pass today to get special pricing. 

New call-to-action