Wescot is the UK’s largest debt recovery company. With offices in Glasgow, Hull and Saltcoats, Wescot employs over 650 people to service the 5 million accounts they receive each year. An essential part of the process of closing an account is to actually track down the people who owe money to Wescot’s clients. Committed to delivering a quick turnover with high customer satisfaction, Wescot utilise a dedicated tracing program that relies on accurate data from several credit reference companies. When this information is incorrect or not validated, this slows down Wescot’s operating time and create unnecessary costs to the business.
Mis-tracing as it is known, is on the increase, partly to do with the high number of people who cannot afford to purchase a home. House prices are restrictively high in the UK and as a result, many people either live in rented accommodation or stay living with family for longer. As a result, tracing has become a lot harder, tenancies typically last for six months and because the tenant only has to find a new empty property to move into, people can change addresses quickly. While the tracing service that Wescot provides is efficient, the fluid population movement in this country is proving to be a problem.
In order to overcome this large problem, credit reference agencies (CRAs) have to be diligent when it comes to recording information. False information can result in a mis-trace very quickly and this is costly to businesses like Wescot. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is taking those CRAs to task who are mishandling information and as such the process is becoming easier to avoid mis-traces. Good news for Wescot, however the debt recovery company still faces mis-traces that are largely as a result of miscommunication between the CRAs.
If one CRA finds invalid information on their database, this can be removed but up until recently, they were not required to inform the other CRAs. Because Wescot are thorough and believe in the protection of their customers, when tracing they often use multiple sources. However, when the sources are not communicating with each other, this can produce misleading information.
Under the supervision of the FCA mis-trace frequencies are being dealt with, so that in the future, companies like Wescot can move forward unhindered by this nuisance.