In this week’s Leading the Way blog, we reflect on the recent Talk Money Week and reaffirm the commitments Bristow & Sutor make towards improving financial wellbeing amongst customers.
What is Talk Money Week?
Talk Money Week is the annual financial wellbeing promotion held by MAPS (Money and Pensions Service) every November. New research from the organisation found that 9/10 adults struggle to talk about money, or never even discuss it. Talk Money Week is therefore focused on increasing financial wellbeing by encouraging everyone to open up and have challenging but important conversations about finances.
Research shows that people who talk about money make better and less risky financial decisions, have stronger personal relationships, help their children form good lifetime money habits, feel less stressed or anxious and generally feel more in control of their lives. Building money conversations also helps financial confidence and the resilience to face whatever the future holds.
On the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, financial wellbeing, alongside physical and mental wellbeing, is more important than ever. This has a direct impact on everyone, especially those that find themselves in debt and contacted by enforcement agents.
How can enforcement firms help?
Bristow & Sutor regularly supports events that have a positive impact on the communities we engage with. As well as Talk Money Week, we take part in initiatives such as Steps for StepChange, raising funds and awareness during Debt Awareness Week (DAW). Other charitable causes we have donated to in recent times include the Trussell Trust, Stop Domestic Abuse and AdviceUK.
Economic, social and environmental wellbeing is a key aspect of collections and enforcement and enforcement firms have a long history of successfully supporting vulnerable people. This year we announced The Money Charity as our new charity partner and selected them largely for the work they do in improving personal finance circumstances for people of all ages. The charity provides education, information, advice and guidance to help people manage their money better and increase their Financial Wellbeing, focusing less on how much money a person has access to and more on harnessing what they do have, to ensure money is used as a force for good within their lives.
As well as signposting debtors when identifying they need assistance and contributing financially to causes that facilitate this support, enforcement firms are uniquely placed to raise awareness in influential networks. For example, as part of our partnership with The Money Charity, we invited them to share our stand at the IRRV Annual Conference in Telford, providing access to a highly relevant audience, fostering important conversations about the future of financial wellbeing and securing new revenue streams.
Influence and Impact
Enforcements firms have a social responsibility to attempt to ensure those they engage with are well-informed on all the tools at their disposal. This will not always be possible in every circumstance but offering help in a non-imposing manner will succeed in better financial decisions being made by many in future. By partnering with experts and charities in this space, we can facilitate guidance, workshops, webinars, resources and consultancy services that will make a long-term impact. All of these measures help people engage with making good financial plans, achieving their monetary goals, creating financial buffers and building resilience against unexpected life events.
Removing taboos around discussing money is an ongoing societal need and true support must go beyond making financial contributions. Whilst investment and fundraising remain essential, continuous communications and awareness-raising activities that successfully direct people to the support they need is priceless. Factoring this support into an external communications strategy does not have to be costly, it can be as full-scale as a campaign or as small as a social media post linking to appropriate resources. Embracing this mindset internally is much the same. This can range from serious applications such as installing protocols for employees to access salary before typical pay-days, or fun reminder challenges, like our Talk Money Week task that saw staff guessing how much change was present inside a see-through jar.
Bristow & Sutor commits to continuously advocating financial wellbeing improvements beyond annual awareness campaigns and ensuring this remains a prevalent factor in our overall approach to being Cool, Calm and Collected.