Optima Legal supporting latest vulnerable customer research

August 2016

Optima Legal supporting latest vulnerable customer research

Optima Legal has been selected as one of 25 organisations from across the UK, to participate in research on working with customers experiencing health problems, emotional distress, or bereavement. 

The research, which has been commissioned by the UK Cards Association and the Finance & Leasing Association, and is being conducted by researchers from the University of Bristol and King’s College London, aims to quantify and describe the experiences, practices and challenges faced by front-line collections and recoveries staff when working with vulnerable customers.

The results of the research are expected in February 2017, and will be used to develop practical and commercially-realistic solutions and guidance, which will be shared with the wider credit and collections sector.  Similar to the successful ’12 steps’ report on mental health and debt collection, previously produced by Principal Researcher Chris Fitch working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, that established the TEXAS and CARERS protocols, it is hoped that the solutions and guidance identified through this latest research will also be adopted by organisations across the credit sector.  Ultimately helping to further identify, engage and support customers who find themselves in vulnerable situations.

Craig Underwood, Director of Legal Services at Optima Legal comments: “Optima Legal’s Recoveries and Litigation Teams have significant experience in working with vulnerable customers, having already adopted the TEXAS best practice protocol.  We are fully supportive of this important research, which will lead the way for our clients and other recovery firms in the continued improvement of the policies and practices which govern the treatment of vulnerable customers.”