Mail Online: “Small Businesses in the UK are owed billions of pounds….”

Small businesses in the UK are owed billions of pounds in late payments, but new research has shown that a third are reluctant to chase slow-paying customers because they are worried about upsetting them or feel embarrassed.

Four in five, or 81 per cent, say they avoid chasing debtors because they find the process ‘uncomfortable’, while one in five, or 19 per cent, are afraid of antagonising customers, according to a study by automated credit control service Satago.

This is a dangerous trend, as more than a third – 34 per cent – of UK SMEs say they write off thousands of pounds of bad debt every year, the report shows.

At Ethicall we believe that if a business needs to resort to legal action then it has failed. To sue someone, be it an individual or an organisation, without a full understanding of their circumstances is expensive folly.

Instead, why not instruct Ethicall to look into the debt? We’ll endeavour to resolve the situation in an ethical and professional manner, mindful first of the market reputation of their client but also of the perseverance and creativity required to collect the money the client is owed. If the problem can’t be resolved over the telephone, a counsellor will call upon the debtor at their premises and resolve it face to face, by negotiation.

If the debtor simply does not have the means to pay the debt immediately, Ethicall will negotiate a three-month payment plan. If the debtor is unable to pay it at all, the client will receive a full report of the counsellor’s findings, with a recommendation for future action.

The client can then proceed with the correct information to hand, rather than blindly spending money on a wild goose chase.

Give Geoff Poundes a call on 07515 286863 or email him at for more information.

Vulnerable Customers – Ethicall Makes The Difference

The new FCA are particularly concerned about the way vulnerable customers are treated in their brave new world. Too often the needs of the customers are overlooked in the headlong rush to collect money, and it seems that major lenders are moving further and further away from the consultative approach in favour of “we want our money and we want it now.”

Ethicall are proud of our reputation for handling sensitive cases – with our employed network of field operators, all of them credit industry experienced with in-depth knowledge of collections and distressed customers – Ethicall can makes the difference when it comes to dealing with difficult situations.

By way of example, here’s a real-life case study:

We were given a case where it was explained to us beforehand that one of the customers had attempted suicide twice in the past 6 months (Mrs A), Mr A had been in contact with the mortgage company a few months previously, he had explained that he had been finding it difficult to cope with running the household and the finances and would be in touch again soon to make an arrangement on the arrears. This had been the last contact. Our agent attended the property and was met at the door by Mr A who was visibly upset, after DPA and identification Mr A agreed to speak to our agent, during the discussion in transpired that it was Mr who had attempted suicide recently and he went on to explain that he had done so as his parents had died in an accident 12 months ago and he had suffered emotionally and financially, his parents used to provide him with childcare support and also give him money each month to help him meet his commitments, he had never had to budget or watch what he was spending as his parents always helped out (within reason). When this stopped he struggled with resolving childcare issues and also paying bills, he hid this as well as he could from his wife but when unable to pay for children’s school dinners and trips he became depressed, when he started to get letters from the mortgage company regarding arrears he attempted suicide. Our agent spoke with the customer for an hour about this, without mention of the mortgage arrears, before explaining to the customer that he may be able to help though budget planning. The agent explained the concept of budget planning to the customer and arranged to call back the following day when Mrs A would be available so they could sit down and go through everything. The following day Mrs A rang our agent pre visit to thank him as she explained that it already felt as if the mood in the family home had lifted, at the evening appointment our agent went through the income and expenditure forms and found that the customer could afford acceptable repayments to his mortgage whilst managing his finances on a weekly basis with a weekly allowance for luxury items. The customer were vastly overspending on items they did not need, in the past they had not needed to consider this and had spent regardless. The customers maintained this payment and the mortgage company asked us to complete a follow up visit 6 months later, upon which Mr & Mrs A explained they were now on top of everything and even had a savings account for emergencies, the customers and the mortgage company both commended our agent by email for his conduct, understanding and care in helping them resolve the situation.

Surge In Unsecured Lending Makes Quality Field Agents a MUST!

It’s being reported in the media this week that despite mortgage approvals remaining stagnant, consumer lending in Britain rose by 6.4% in October, confounding market expectations. Consumer lending hasn’t grown this fast since July 2006, so it seems that both lenders and borrowers are feeling a surge of confidence in the wake of the Government’s heavily touted financial recovery.

That doesn’t mean it’s any less risky or difficult to lend in the unsecured sector. With the FCA hot on the heels of payday lenders to lend their money responsibly, creditors must maintain a vigilant and cautious approach to handing out personal loans without security.
It’s also the case that when things go wrong in the unsecured market, getting lenders money back is far more difficult. Collection techniques have to be speedy and focussed – and MUST include the option to quickly have a field agent on the customer’s doorstep the moment that customer withdraws their co-operation with the creditor.

That’s where Ethicall comes in. With our sophisticated online systems, professional, dedicated field agents, and our famous attention to detail, you could have a credit industry expert knocking on the customer’s door on the very same day you lose contact with them.
With that kind of service at your disposal, lending with confidence is so much easier.
Give Geoff Poundes a call on 07515 286863 and he’ll talk you through how to make it happen.

The FCA Insist On Informed Lending Decisions – How Ethicall Can Help

The Telegraph are reporting that despite renewed vigilance of the payday loans industry, there remain significant issues with the way those organisations go about lending and collecting money:

“Four in 10 people who are rejected for a payday loan turned to another short-term lender, according to a new survey that highlights the high level of demand for quick money but the huge difference in affordability checks.

Payday loan companies have come under increased scrutiny from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in recent months, with tighter rules on fees and a new registration process for all lenders coming into force next year.

However, a poll conducted in August and released on Wednesday found that 42pc of people turned down for a short-term loan managed to get into debt with another lender. A quarter of people turned down for a payday loan turned to family and friends for cash, while 27pc ended up defaulting on another loan or bill, the survey found.

The poll was carried out online by YouGov on behalf of the Consumer Finance Association (CFA), the trade body for eight short-term lenders including Cash Converters, the Money Shop and QuickQuid. YouGov contacted 40,000 people who had been recently rejected for a loan, and 720 people completed the survey.

Four percent of these people admitted to taking money from an unlicensed lender after they were rejected, and 2pc went into debt with a credit union. More than three-quarters did not know whether their lender was licenced, and 33pc said they had considered borrowing from an unlicensed lender after they were rejected by the major payday loans firms”.

Here at Ethicall we exist to support lending institutions not only to reconnect with non-paying customers, but also to help them make the right lending decisions. The FCA is clear that a lending decision cannot be made without a proper examination (including obtaining proof) of a customer’s ability to pay. The cost of sending one of Ethicall’s highly experienced field team to meet with a customer is surprisingly low, but what price can you put on developing that face to face relationship right at the outset? Whether it’s a payday loan, or a personal loan or a homeowner loan – give Geoff Poundes a call on 07515 286863 or email him at  and we’ll discuss how we can make Ethicall work for you.

Ethicall’s Diverse Range of Services …

Ethicall was created as the antidote to many years of sub-standard performance in the sector, on a mission to set the highest performance benchmarks, and to become the market leading business judged so by its clients, providing a top quality, and value for money, service.

Ethicall has therefore chosen to offer to a unique service mix which assists clients meet both their internal and external challenges whether in the mortgage or credit collections space.

Key components of our service are:

  • An employed field network of experienced field agent representatives’ to carry out its client engagements, working closely with a secondary group of self-employed Agents where the client dictates.
  • Ethicall’s senior field management (Regional Partners), are recruited from a talent pool of leading credit industry branch managers steeped not only in a lending and collection mandate culture but, having the knowledge and appropriate behaviours to deal with client customers on the doorstep, and in their homes. This contrasts with traditionally self employed agents who are drawn typically from retired banking industry personnel and former police officers, adding to their pension incomes with occasional field work.
  • A management control system where all Regional Partners and line report, Area Managers receive quarterly reviews, dual calling and 1:1’s where feedback on performance is delivered
  • Ethicall believes that accurate customer information, delivered as quickly and securely as possible, helps lenders best meet their statutory obligations to treat customers fairly. The Ethicall Workflow System has been created to facilitate a paperless service being sufficiently flexible to meet many different client needs surrounding the type of data required to be captured.
  • Ethicall also issues corporate IT hardware complete with the latest end point security configurations to ensure that data is not compromised though the use of private personal computers and hand held devices.
  • Ethicall has come to market with a range of services which address traditional arrears collection market requirements but with a number of innovative solutions which address some of the more difficult challenges facing clients but which have been virtually ignored by traditional suppliers, such as Sensitive Case work ,and Loan Maturity interviews.
  • Ethicall provides a range of pricing which reflects the breadth and complexity of work it encounters ever mindful of the need to offer value for money but, keen ensure it receives fair value for access to an experienced, employed field team where required.

To learn more, simply give Geoff Poundes a call on 07515 286863, or email him at


Ethicall Continues to Break The Mould ….


You’ll know Ethicall as a premium field services provider. For four years we’ve been providing the highest quality service, and the very best results, through our unique network of industry-experienced field staff.

You’ll know that our attention to detail is second to none – and that because our field workers only use our software and hardware we lead our competitors in terms of data security and compliance. You’ll also know that the FCA are keen to ensure those standards are maintained throughout the industry.

What you don’t know is that Ethicall is also able to offer a light-touch approach on the doorstep through our extensive network of self-employed field Agents, working closely with our existing field managers to cover all the bases. Whatever your field needs – Ethicall can step up to the plate.

So we’re asking you to examine your existing field provider and ask the question: do they offer that level of flexibility and that level of security?

If not, please take a look at our new website at, which will give you a little more information, OR, contact me, Geoff Poundes,  on 07515 286863, or at, and we’ll have a no obligation chat about your requirements.

The FCA are watching – let’s talk!”

How to resolve your business bad debts!

Small and Medium sized businesses are throwing away 286 million man-hours and almost £3.86 billion each year chasing bad debts. What’s more – 74% of SME’s admit that they accept late payment excuses rather than insisting invoices are paid on time. It seems that businesses will do anything, even put themselves at risk, to avoid asking debtors to pay.

Ethicall’s nationwide group of experienced debt negotiators can help. Professional, ethical and empathetic, we visit debtor companies and work out how they can satisfy the debt – and if they can’t we investigate why and report back. If it turns out legal action is the only option, we’ll get the process started at a fraction of the cost of a Solicitor. In short, we’ll remove the time and conflict pressures while you get on with your business!

Ethicall demonstrates its reach….

Peter Mullen, our Scottish Regional Partner, demonstrates that there is nowhere Ethicall won’t go to satisfy a client’s instructions. In fact Peter was in Wick, which is on the northern-most tip of the British Isles, where he interviewed two customers on behalf of a mortgage company.

Making It All Worthwhile!

Ours is a business in which it’s sometimes very difficult to garner recognition when you do a good job, so forgive us if we make a big noise when such plaudits all too rarely arrive. Here’s a snippet of a note received from one of our mortgage clients after one of their customers wrote in following a visit from our Regional Partner Steve Davis:

“…he was very courteous and polite, very informative, and fair and understanding of both her situation and of ours.  She said he explained everything clearly and she learned a lot of information she wasn’t previously aware of about what we require and what help she can get.”

Makes all the hard work worthwhile!

Making TCF Work

If you have a moment, take a look at TCF (Treating Customers Fairly) has quite rightly become the lending industry’s mantra, particularly in these troubled times of pin-sharp regulation and oversight. Effectively, TCF exists to ensure that customers who find themselves in financial difficulty and unable to meet their obligations are given every opportunity to state their case – so that collection activity is tailored to, and informed by, a full understanding of the customer’s circumstances – we think the best way of achieving that aim is through a face to face  interview with the customer in the comfort of their home, conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable counsellor. How TCF is that!