Harrington Brooks (HB), one of the UK’s leading debt solution providers, are currently helping customers repay their unsecured debts through financial management plans (FMPs or DMPs) and there are a further 20,000 customers trusting Harrington Brooks to handle their Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).
Financial Management Plans and Informal Full & Final Settlements are administered by HB Financial Solutions Ltd, while Individual Voluntary Arrangements are provided by One Advice Ltd. Both these companies are wholly owned companies of the One Advice Group.
Our FMP business trades as simply Harrington Brooks, while our IVA business trades as Harrington Brooks IVA.
The market size in the UK for debt management plans is estimated at 750,000 people (of which two thirds are professionally managed and one third are self-managed), with a further 200,000 with IVAs. In 2013/14, Harrington Brooks IVA set up 9,261 new IVAs – almost one in every five that were created.
Harrington Brooks have gained a reputation as a trustworthy provider of professional financial services, based on positive business growth and a commitment to a holistic customer service that represents value for money.
Harrington Brooks practices are based in a dedication to regulation and fairness and are now authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), firm reference number 660923.
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. We are the only one of the recognised bodies solely involved in insolvency.
Harrington Brooks are managing around 569,000 unsecured debts, worth £920m+, on behalf of customers each month and distribute £7.6 million to creditors on the behalf of customers each month.
A number of creditors automatically freeze or reduce interest and charges when notified by Harrington Brooks and 95% of communications to and from creditors are now electronic. There are over 6,000 creditors set up in the system, and in most cases, creditors are contacted on the day the plan is fully set up and typically work to receiving a return response rate of ten days. In the case of IVAs, 64% of unsecured debts are typically written off at completion.
Harrington Brooks offer a utility and media comparison and switching service, providing customers with the best deal on their utility and media bills. In 2013/14, this service generated a total saving of £1.164 million for over 11,000 customers.
In the same period Harrington Brooks also provided 69,498 sessions of free in-depth telephone debt advice and through their free benefit checking service, which ensures that customers are getting what they are entitled to. This helped to generate, on average, £771 extra income per household.
Free Legal Advice in Relation to Creditor Enforcement
After gaining an ABS license early in 2014, the Group also offer free legal advice to our customers if they are having creditor enforcement issues. Over £133,000 worth of free advice per month has been given away as part of this initiative. Customers are also offered thirty minutes free case assessment for matters relating to a number of other legal issues.
Prior to the setting of a plan (FMP or IVA), and during the lifetime of the plan, the teams provide verbal, printed and digital material for customers. This contains advice and guidance plus balanced information about the pros and cons, the process, duration, commitments, expectations, responsibilities and an overall evaluation of what it means to enter in to, and hold a FMP or IVA.
There is a team of dedicated account managers and customer service advisers, who support customers every step of the way. All staff receive specialist training before beginning their roles, ensuring everyone is aware of and capable of delivering a high standard of service that is also compliant.
Harrington Brooks know the importance of communication and make it as easy as possible for customers to feel in the loop and supported throughout their time on plan. Calls are charged at local rates, with 0330 telephone numbers in operation.
In 2013/14 Harrington Brooks provided 69,498 sessions of free in-depth advice.
MyOnlineAccount is our online self-service FMP management platform which allow customers to view their balance, payments and plan details at any time.
IVA and FMP customers receive reviews to ensure that their plans are still the most sustainable and effective.
Harrington Brooks monitor their commitment to providing the most suitable, affordable advice, based on open communication, with a diligent assessment of customers’ financial circumstances so that customers can, in turn, make informed choices.
Harrington Brooks regularly issue surveys to customers, to gain insight and feedback regarding the service provided.
Over 7,186 online surveys have been deployed with 79% of customers agreeing that they would recommend Harrington Brooks FMP or IVA services to a family member or friend.
97% of independent reviews at Trustpilot and Review Centre rate Harrington Brooks as 4 star+. (July 2014)
Have a look at the independently controlled and run review centres. At trustpilot.co.uk Harrington Brooks averages 9.6 from reviews from over 1300 customers.
At reviewcentre.com , 90% of the 1000+ customers who have taken the time to add a comment would recommend Harrington Brooks and rate the service at 4 star+ out of a maximum 5 stars.
Commitment to Staff
Pride is taken in the range of career development opportunities afforded to staff with the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) initiative given a compulsory three hours per month.
Two dedicated staff members update and manage the company Intranet. Full of news, reviews and celebrations and it supports staff in their everyday working life.
In 2013/14, Harrington Brooks 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. Harrington Brooks want to maintain their status as an employer of choice, and are proud to hold an Investors in People award.
See Careers page for further details.