About One Advice
The One Advice Group provides a range of professional financial services, debt resolution and personal insolvency solutions for customers UK wide. The Group incorporates Harrington Brooks (Accountants) Ltd.
Established in 1998, Harrington Brooks, one of the UK’s leading debt solution providers, are currently helping customers repay their unsecured debts through financial management plans and there are a further 20,000 customers trusting Harrington Brooks to manage their Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).
The market size in the UK for debt management plans is estimated to be 750,000 people (of which 2/3 are professionally managed and 1/3 self-managed), with around a further 200,000 people with IVAs. In 2013/14, 9,261 new IVAs were set up by us – that’s one in every five that were issued.
In terms of OpenDoor, recent analysis of PPI redress revealed that approximately £50 billion of PPI policies have been sold over the last 10-15 years. With a total redress of £14.3 billion paid out to claimants (as of February, 2014) and estimates for total redress now over £24 billion, there is much more still to be claimed.
Also available through OpenDoor, customers on financial management plans are entitled to free legal advice relating to creditor enforcement issues. Currently, one in every four customers use this service at some point during their time with us. Per month, an average 2,250 creditor enforcement enquiries are dealt with, equating to £1.6 million worth of free advice per annum.
Companies in the Group are authorised and regulated by different bodies.
Harrington Brooks financial management plans are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Harrington Brooks IVA are regulated by the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA). This is a membership body recognised for the purposes of authorising (licensing) insolvency practitioners (IPs) under the Insolvency Act 1986. The IPA are the only one of the recognised bodies solely involved in insolvency.
OpenDoor provides legal and financial services and is regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA).
Compliance and Complaints
In 2013/14, 512,167 complaints were registered with the Financial Ombudsmen Service (FOS) for the Financial Services sector with 95 complaints in total relating to debt counselling, a fall of 25% or 0.02% of total Ombudsman complaints.
Interestingly, complaints about packaged bank accounts increased by more than 248% to 5,667 or 1.1% of total complaints.
Complaints about mis sold PPI represents 78% of all complaints, up 6% on 2013.
In the financial year 2013/14 several companies in the Group made a range of improvements in response to feedback obtained from customers, these included:
- Provision of more FREEPOST envelopes
- Ahead of other business sectors, Group member companies moved to 0330 telephone numbers to provide standard rate calls.
- Harrington Brooks FMP and IVA invested £50,000 in “Eptica” email management software
- Harrington Brooks FMP re-launched a new and improved online account management portal – My Online Account.
- Harrington Brooks FMP is also installing a call queue telephone management system, whereby customers can opt to be placed in a virtual queue which calls them back at a convenient time.
- The development of a Creditor Portal is also in the pipeline.
The average number of online visits by FMP customers to the customer portal each month is more than 20,000 since the re launch of My Online Account.
Both FMP and IVA customers in the Group are asked to complete surveys at regular intervals in their plan, the aim being to gain insight and feedback regarding the services provided. 79% of customers agree that they would recommend Harrington Brooks FMP or IVA services to a family member or friend.
To continuously improve, quantify and monitor the customer experience and levels of satisfaction some companies in the Group have established HB CARES. This is an initiative that ensures consistency in the quality of service that customers can expect. They constantly track customer interaction using the following metrics:Call efficiency, Accuracy of advice, Right first time, Evidence in compliance and Satisfaction in service; then act upon the feedback attained.
Commitment to Staff
Across the Group staff numbers have increased to over 500 in the last 4 years to meet the requirements of customers, ensuring the Group exceed customer expectations.
Pride is taken in the range of career development opportunities afforded to staff with the Continuous Professional Development initiative given a compulsory three hours per month by each staff member.
In 2013/14, companies in the Group invested time, money and energy to revamp the staff benefits package in order to cement their position as an important employer and contributor within the local economy. The Group want to maintain their status as an employer of choice.
The Group have also invested in providing an intranet for all staff to use, with a team of dedicated content writers developing and managing it. It’s full of news, reviews and it supports staff in their everyday life. Need a form? Want to stay up to date on industry news? “It’s on the intranet!”
We use the intranet to celebrate staff and company successes, to report customer feedback, births, events, celebrations, new processes and appointments. It supports the Group’s positive and inclusive culture.
The staff committee, Culture Club, exists to make sure the working environment and culture of the Group is both positive and supportive.
Culture Club have elected representatives from across all the businesses and departments in the Group, who are responsible for communicating the needs of employees, as well as organising events and activities, such as bowling nights, theme park trips and the grand Christmas Ball.
It is recognised that the running of any business can have a negative impact on the environment, so policies exists in the Group to reduce this, ranging from recycling initiatives, to conserving energy and encouraging staff to car share.