David Smith: Economics Editor, The Sunday Times
In Uncertain Times: Prospects for the Economy and Busines
Consumers are under pressure from falling real wages and the Brexit process is creating uncertainties for business. David Smith will explain what this means for the outlook.
David Smith has been Economics Editor of The Sunday Times since 1989. He is also chief leader writer, assistant editor and policy adviser. He also writes columns for Tax Journal, Estates Gazette and other publications. Prior to joining The Sunday Times, he worked for The Times, Financial Weekly, the Henley Centre for Forecasting and Lloyds Bank.
Chris DeBoer: President and CEO, Global Analytics
Culture – The Key to Winning in Consumer Credit
Building a successful consumer credit firm is difficult. To win in the market you must put the customer at the heart of your business, drive best-in-class efficiency and constantly innovate faster than the competition. At first glance these may appear conflicting demands however the key to success is building a culture that rewards these behaviours, responds when they are not exhibited, and ensures a shared common purpose. In his presentation Chris will discuss how GAIN Credit has created a unique culture that is delivering fantastic results with a huge sustainable competitive advantage.
Chris is the President and CEO of Global Analytics. As general manager for a nine figure business, supplying financial services to the underserved, Chris has built a business delivering innovation to the market and subsequent rapid corporate growth.
Having gained an BSEE and MSEE from the University of California in Santa Barbara, Chris worked across a number of industries including spending a decade at Fair Isaac Corp (FICO) prior to joining Global Analytics. He has since moved his family from the sunshine state to London where he continues his passion for tennis and fintech innovation.
Jonathan Phelan, Head of Retail Finance & Debt Supervision, FCA
A Regulatory Perspective on the Supervision of the Consumer Credit Industry
This talk will explore the FCA’s approach to three important areas of current regulatory attention which are of particular relevant to the consumer credit industry. The first is the FCA’s expectations and approach to leadership, tone and culture within firms. Second, regulatory expectations of firms’ senior management. And third FCA’s approach to affordability and creditworthiness.
Jonathan Phelan is part of the FCA’s senior leadership team. A solicitor by background, Jonathan leads a department at the FCA that is responsible for the supervision of consumer credit firms. Prior to this, Jonathan led the FCA’s Consumer Insight function as well as leading departments within the regulator’s Enforcement Division.
Jonathan Horsman, Managing Director, Centaurus Communications,
The Politics of Credit in the Current Parliament
From Brexit, to Trump and Corbyn, our national politics have had no shortage of drama and upheaval in recent times. But bread and butter issues like credit and debt still loom large on the political and parliamentary agenda. This Parliament may not run the full five years, but there is plenty for credit businesses to worry about; and much work to be done to secure a viable future.
Jonathan’s career spans consumer credit and politics. He started in Parliament as a researcher for a UK Treasury Minister in the 1990s before moving into public affairs, first as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the independent schools sector and then as Head of Public Affairs at Provident Financial in the 2000s. He moved from Provident into broader strategic communications consultancy, running the international division of Project Associates, where his clients included major corporates and overseas governments, and then setting up his own consultancy Centaurus Communications in 2012. Centaurus Communications has advised a range of businesses and organisations in the retail FS and consumer credit sectors. It also provides secretariat services to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Lending, a new forum where parliamentarians can meet creditors to discuss mutual concerns and ensure market developments are aligned to wider policy goals, and vice versa.
Jeanette Burgess, Partner, Head of Regulatory & Compliance, Walker Morris
Affordability – an Art or a Science?
An overview of the FCA’s consultation paper CP 17/27 on assessing creditworthiness with a legal and practical perspective based on FCA cases.
Recognised by UK legal directory Chambers as a national expert in consumer finance law, Jeanette advises a wide range of clients including lenders, brokers and credit reference agencies ranging from start-ups to international organisations including banks. Her 18 years varied experience in retail financial services law, including a stint as in-house counsel with a major UK lender and as a regulator with the enforcement team of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), underpins her practical and commercial approach. Jeanette is a regular speaker and writer on legal issues affecting secured and unsecured lenders.
Peter Gannon, Managing Partner, Invigor8
What Really Works: ‘Few to Many’ Engagement at FSCS
This session will explore how the Financial Services Compensation Scheme refocused, aligned and engaged its people around a new set of Values designed to uplift both internal performance and customer satisfaction. Peter will explain how the organisation gained crucial insights into how it was performing in four key areas: Strategy, Execution, cross Structure working and Culture. This enabled FSCS to re-energise its corporate narrative to its employees with a simplified version of its ‘Why, What and How’. A second strand explored a new Customer Journey and how to engage its people to deliver an enhanced experience. With this ‘picture on a page’, a re-invigorated, and more believable, Executive Team then led a challenge-based programme to enable everyone to explore how they could contribute to the Mission and Imperatives and to make the Values come to life. Peter will share the original insights, the challenge based programme design and the real results achieved. Peter will also talk to other examples where things have not worked to plan!
Peter is a founder and managing partner of invigor8. With over 30 years consulting experience in business strategy, marketing and Human Resources, Peter helps senior teams to engage their people to deliver the organisation’s aspirations and desired culture. Peter has been involved in major change programmes with Financial Institutions, Debenhams, Oracle, Tesco, a number of NHS trusts, Jaguar Land Rover, Royal Mail and Travis Perkins, to name a few. invigor8 sets out to help clients radically improve performance. They work from the inside out, developing bespoke engagement campaigns to invigorate first your clients’ employees, your customers and, ultimately, profitability.
Chris Pond, Chairman, Lending Standards Board
Credit Where it's Due
As the divide between real incomes and the cost of living widens, the need for credit is increasing at a time when regulation has restricted its supply. The Financial Inclusion Commission have expressed concerns that access to affordable credit is falling far short of this growing need, leaving many families with nowhere to turn. How can we ensure that fair lending replaces unmanageable debt?
Chris Pond is Chair of the Lending Standards Board and of the Equity Release Standards Board. He is Vice Chair of the Financial Inclusion Commission and Chair of The Money Charity (formerly Credit Action). He was previously Director of Financial Capability at the Financial Services Authority and Member of Parliament for Gravesham, serving as a Treasury ministerial aide and as Minister for Work and Pensions. Chris has been Chief Executive of two national charities and trust or chair of many others.
John Lamidey, Senior Partner, Arminius Associates
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
In 1744 Alexander Webster and Robert Wallace, two Presbyterian clergymen in Scotland, invented a system to predict how many Ministers would die each year, how many widows and orphans they would leave, and how long the widows would outlive their husbands. By 1765 they calculated, their insurance fund would have £58,348 capital. In the event it had £58,347 – just £1 short. Thus Scottish Widows was born. So could the use of data today enable lenders to predict whether a customer can afford a loan? The FCA seems to think so.
John was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and Cambridge University. After a 19 year army career he became Assistant Data Protection Registrar (now Information Commissioner’s Office) handling compliance and policy issues for consumer credit and direct marketing. In 1996 John became Director of the Consumer Credit Association spending the next decade representing the Home Credit market with Government Departments, the European Commission, regulators and the media. His consultancy Arminius Associates was set up in 2006 and worked with a large non-standard finance provider and helped set up the Consumer Finance Association representing payday lenders in 2008. John was CEO of the CFA from its inception until August 2012. He specialises regulatory and public affairs concerning non-standard consumer credit supplied by non-bank lenders. He supports CCTA as a policy adviser on high cost short term credit issues.
Nigel Waite, Founding Director, 3R Insights
Future-proofing Corporate Culture
The plethora of reports into the misbehaviour of the financial services industry all have one thing in common, namely, that inappropriate cultures lie at the root of the problem. However, given the importance attached to corporate culture it is perhaps surprising that Boards of Directors have such limited access to resources of real practical value to help them address this tricky and complex issue.
An answer is now available and is called the Culture Assessment Framework (CAF). This process has been pioneered by 3R Insights and gives Chairmen, Chief Executives, NEDs and other Board Directors a practical and robust means of addressing cultural challenges. In this presentation Nigel Waite outlines what the CAF is, how it works, and the benefits it brings.
3R Insights was established by Nigel Waite, former FCA Director Mick McAteer and other experts in the field to provide financial services companies with an innovative and practical way of addressing challenges regarding business culture. In this way companies are in a better position to manage conduct risk. Nigel is a specialist in corporate behaviour and marketing strategy and how they impact on matters concerning Conduct of Business Rules. He is the co-author of Financial Services Marketing: An International Guide to Principles and Practice. The third edition of this world-wide best seller was recently published. Nigel spent over 20 years in commercial practice in marketing, sales and general management, including Marketing Director roles at Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays where he was responsible for life assurance, pension, savings and investment products. In terms of General Management he has run businesses marketing unsecured loans, finance broker second mortgages and first mortgages.
Richard Carter, Managing Director, Equiniti Credit Services
The Demanding Market for Credit
In our latest report, Great Expectations: The Demanding Market for Credit, Equiniti Credit Services reveals the changing relationship between UK consumers and their financial providers. In a market that is no longer dominated by the mainstream banks and with alternative lenders eating into their market share, we see a new era of finance and lending.
Choice, speed and flexibility form part of today’s consumers’ expectations. With the majority of customers never requiring direct contact with their financial provider, a digital first approach is now key in order to survive in a consumer lead environment.
Equiniti Credit Services is transforming the future of lending, delivering flexible, agile solutions that support the entire life cycle of a loan. By combining three market-leading enterprises (Nostrum Group, Equiniti Pancredit and Equiniti Gateway) into one highly capable entity, Equiniti Credit Services blends innovative advanced technology with expertly skilled personnel, to efficiently service a highly diverse range of lending portfolios.
Liz Barclay, Chairperson, MALG
Setting the Tone
Customers can spot insincerity and lack of authenticity a long way off. While substance and structure are very important, the tone in which content is delivered to customers, through any available channel, can make or break an organisation. The tone conveys the vision, values and principles. Just getting the right words is only part of the picture.
Liz Barclay is a Radio and TV Broadcaster and Producer; writes for national newspapers, magazines and websites; and is author of five business books.
She is a consumer champion who is Chair of the Money Advice Liaison Group, Citizens Advice Camden and the Credit Union Foundation. She is also Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme; a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, the Equity Release Council Standards Board, the Fundraising Regulator Standards Board, and is an Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust.
She is passionate about improving customer service and employee engagement – working with the Customer Contact Association to raise the bar across the charity, public and private sectors. To pay the mortgage Liz coaches in communication and presentation skills, and speaks at, and chairs, national and international conferences.
Frank Johnstone, Partner, Commercial Dispute Resolution, MMS (soon to be Dentons)
PCP Mis-selling: Fact or Fiction?
In the past year or so there has been speculation in the media on whether there has been widespread mis-selling of personal contract purchase (PCP) contracts in the motor finance sector. It has been suggested that claims management companies may focus on PCP mis-selling as PPI claims eventually dry up. The FCA is concerned that there may be a lack of transparency, potential conflicts of interest and irresponsible lending in the motor finance industry, and is conducting “an exploratory piece of work on the motor finance sector” Is PCP going to be the new PPI?
Frank is a partner at the UK law firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP and specialises in the areas of volume debt recovery, consumer credit law, and FCA compliance issues. He is the Convenor of the Panel of the Law Society of Scotland of Scotland’s Accredited Specialism: Debt and Asset Recovery, Convenor of the Consumer Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, an Editor of the Scottish sections of “Goode: Consumer Credit Law and Practice” and “Goode: Consumer Credit Reports”, and a Council member of the Consumer Credit Trade Association. Maclay Murray & Spens is a full service law firm with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. It has over 220 lawyers, including 60 partners, across 14 specialist practice areas.