CSA CEO Chris Leslie gives industry current state of play speech at MALG conference
11 September 2020
On Thursday our Chief Executive Chris Leslie gave his presentation at the MALG National Members’ Meeting, setting out his analysis of the current ‘state of play’ in the collections and credit management market.
The impact of the pandemic on the credit/consumer eco-system has been profound, but the CSA’s member firms have continued to facilitate payment deferrals and offer forbearance beyond the Government’s requirements. This has been a predominantly consumption-driven downturn and recovering from the severe shutdown in activity will take some time. While furlough and other interventions have been a lifeline for millions of households, levels of financial support have not been shared equally across all cohorts of the population.
Chris notes in his presentation that there is a paradox in the savings ratio rising sharply, as some have found fewer occasions to spend and their income has been protected, but that this may be a temporary phenomenon. The four months of consumer credit repayments recorded by the Bank of England during lockdown reflect this, but credit markets have now broadly returned to normal availabilities. Collections and recoveries remain an important part of the economic ‘plumbing’, with thousands of SMEs needing to be paid for their goods and services, and where loans repaid helps to keep the wider costs of credit lower for all in society.
The CSA’s priorities remain encouraging borrowers to talk with their lenders and engage in order to resolve any problems and find solutions – and driving best practice and promoting professionalism across the sector. Chris’s presentation followed a discussion led by John Pears (UK Managing Director at Lowell) on how the collections sector have adapted through the Covid-19 pandemic and a presentation from Joe Surtees, Head of Debt Policy at the Cabinet Office discussing the work of the Government’s Debt Management function.
You can view the slides from Chris' presentation here.