Our Customer Assistance team look to support customers in two ways
- We offer help and support to those facing financial difficulty now and those expecting to in the future through income and expenditure reviews. In some instances we also offer forbearance solutions
- We refer customers to the partner debt advice organisation we feel is most suitable for them to benefit from free, impartial and expert advice
Supported by 1,000 trained agents working from our call centres, we do not provide specialist advice directly but, help find customers the most appropriate routes to the support they need.
We also conduct income and expenditure reviews in order to help customers maintain affordability and in some cases offer temporary forbearance options to customers that can allow them to overcome a short-term crisis. These are always assessed on an individual customer basis and are subject to a full review of circumstances.
Where customers are repaying their mortgage on an Interest Only basis, we also work with them to help create and review a robust plan for the repayment of their original loan at the end of their mortgage term.
In 2012 we achieved our objective of referring over 6000 NRAM and Bradford & Bingley customers to free and impartial debt advice.
We are committed to a partnership approach and a key objective for us this year is to engage more customers with independent advice providers.