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Credit and risk: Ian Parry of First Utility

Ian Parry, head of customer payments at First Utility, talks occupier debt, customer engagement, fraud and theft.



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Occupier debt, customer engagement, fraud and theft.

 

These are the three biggest challenges in credit and risk facing energy firms, according to Ian Parry, one of the speakers at our Utilities & Telecoms Conference later this month.

 

Parry explained that occupier debt cuts across risk, data quality and cost to serve, while the matter of just speaking to customers remains a difficult proposition for utility providers.

 

“Fraud and theft is usually lost in bad debt but it needs to be segmented out and treated very differently”, he added.

 

During his appearance on a panel session at the conference he hopes others will learn of First Utility’s approach to customers and how policy should be flexed as much as possible when needed.

 

As for debt management, Parry said outsourced collections remains a bigger priority than debt sale, adding: “As a low cost provider our focus on costs and resolving customers’ debts is our highest priority. This helps us remain competitive, allowing us to help our customers save money.”

 

Parry also believes 2017 will bring further competition into the market and that debt assignment protocol will become a more prominent topic.

 

He believes that increased competition will drive customer churn and change the ratio of customers in debt for live and lost accounts.

 

Parry revealed that First Utility will spend next year investing in data and strategy across internal and external partners, as well as specific data to drive more sophisticated approaches.

 

The company has an ultimate goal of reaching “leading practice across credit risk and collections”, he added.

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