3rd August 2022
Link Financial’s Amanda McCann becomes a MALG Ambassador
The Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) is a UK industry body which brings together representatives from across the spectrum of organisations dealing with people experiencing problem debt. They work together to bring a holistic perspective to the customer journey and to find ways to better support those who are in debt.
Recently, Link Financial Outsourcing’s Amanda McCann (Operations Manager responsible for Customer Outcomes) has been made a MALG Ambassador in recognition of her contribution to the organisation over the last 11 years. With only 50 Ambassadors recognised by MALG across the UK, this is a fantastic achievement. We asked Amanda about MALG’s work and why it is so important.
Congratulations on being made a MALG Ambassador Amanda! Can you tell us why it’s important to have an organisation like MALG?
MALG is the only organisation which brings together organisations from every stage of the credit journey (lenders, creditors, debt collection, enforcement, academics, debt advice, regulators, trade associations) to identify ways to prevent problem debt arising and to improve the lives of those who are living with it.
It provides an environment where issues can be raised and discussed, solutions identified, and improvements made which ultimately benefit consumers.
MALG’s close relationship with other key industry bodies including the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), Credit Services Association (CSA), UK Finance and the Lending Standards Board (LSB) strengthens this work.
Over the years we have tackled controversial and critical topics such as gambling harms, marginalised communities, financial capability and funding for debt advice.
How does Link Financial benefit from its membership of MALG?
Link has been a key member of MALG for many years and I have worked closely with them for over 10 years now, since starting to manage our complaints and vulnerable customer area in 2011.
The opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with such a broad range of industry peers is very valuable – for example, we are able to learn first-hand from the debt advice community members about trends in types of vulnerability and numbers of people who are struggling. We share experiences and learn from our peers, hear from the utility sector via Energy UK and also get updates and information from regulators including the FCA who discuss their expectations and areas of focus, and the Insolvency Service who have been providing guidance around their new rules.
Link can be exceptionally proud of being one of the earliest adopters of identifying vulnerable customers, an initiative based on the original Debt and Mental health evidence forms developed by MALG.
What is your current area of focus in your work with MALG?
This has been a hugely testing time for all of us, still suffering the fallout from the pandemic and now facing an energy and cost of living crisis.
All MALG members are actively looking at providing support for customers, and evaluating support, signposting and forbearance arrangements.
Recently I’ve been working with the team at Surviving Economic Abuse who have been sharing insight into this important but less recognised form of vulnerability, and exploring a possible pilot scheme with them.
In 2019, I was asked to join the Membership Committee to help source likeminded industry peers which was also a real privilege.
Being a MALG Ambassador requires upholding their brand values and tone of voice which is perfectly in line with Link’s long-standing ethos of ethical collections and supporting customers in debt.