The following Case Study has been anonymised to protect the business and the individuals at the company.

Situation

A medium-sized UK debt collection agency (DCA) had received their interim certification from the FCA but knew work would be required to ensure everything was in place to achieve full FCA certification. The business management team were fully focussed on the daily operations and the business required support to identify the scale of the work to be completed and then support implementation of the solutions.

The DCA also recognised this as an opportunity to review operations to maximise profit through commission income, demonstrate to existing clients, and potential new clients, that their customers were central to the company ethos, and that the clients' brands were adequately protected.

Task

Athena was engaged to:

  • complete a Health Check on every aspect of the DCA operation;
  • log action areas;
  • propose recommendations on remedial work required to ensure the business would achieve FCA certification;
  • Support implementation of corrective actions and track the benefits.

Action

Athena representatives were based within the business for a number of weeks. Forensic examination was completed initially to determine the business' state of readiness and give an indication on the level of remedial action required.

Each area reviewed was allocated a RAG status against a detailed list of criteria and action items categorised High / Medium / Low dependent on the findings and the likely business impact.

Regular communication between Athena and the DCA management team gave an indication of findings and updated them on progress with implementing the agreed solutions.

The table below shows each area of the Health Check report and provides a high-level description of the focus of the review completed in each area.

Results

The business RAG score was initially assessed as 'Red'. Improvement actions were documented and presented to managers. The action items were categorised High / Medium / Low depending on the necessity for the corrective measure and the anticipated impact, and the actions then implemented in conjunction with each area's manager.

Utilising a joined-up approach with the DCA management meant that corrective actions were implemented quicker and consequently benefits to the business were evident sooner.

Athena's involvement in the business progressed to the point whereby completion of the implementation programme and ongoing monitoring of results could be handed over to the DCA management team. On leaving the DCA business a further assessment was made on the state of compliance within the business with the result that the RAG status had improved to 'Amber'.

It was anticipated the RAG score would continue to improve after a period of time to monitor results to ensure the effectiveness of the implemented actions and the business had a roadmap on the activities that needed to be maintained to satisfy FCA requirements for full certification.

The Managing Director of the DCA recognised the value of Athena's involvement in the business and commented "insert comment"