We recently hosted the Money Advice Liaison Group's South West Forum at our head office which was hugely successful and received a great turnout.
Formed in 1987, The Money Advice Liaison Group (known as MALG), is a not-for-profit UK membership organisation whose purpose is to galvanise organisations to 'work together to improve the lives of people in debt'.
MALG is the 'missing link' that ties together all the threads of the customer journey from the prevention to the cure of problem debt. It does this by acting as a thought leader, facilitator and accelerator of change, creating an open, non-judgemental, and dedicated forum for discussion, best practice, and joint action.
Because MALG has no commercial, regulatory, or political agenda, it is uniquely placed to proactively seek 'game changing' solutions because it does not have to wait for a steer from regulators/government before reacting to its members' challenges.
As well as the work it does nationally, MALG has facilitated independent regional forums across the UK in the South East, Midlands, North East/Yorkshire, North West, Scotland and Northern Ireland, for many years.
These groups provide opportunities for local utilities companies, lenders, collections agents and money/debt advisers to come together on a regular basis to discuss and debate issues within their marketplace.
When MALG's new chief executive Bob Winnington joined the organisation in 2017, he saw a gap in the south west and set about identifying whether there was demand for such a group in the region and to build support for it.
In January 2019, the MALG South West group launched and has gone from strength to strength since.
Bob said: "I have been delighted but not surprised by the appetite for a MALG group in the south west. Having worked in the region during my banking career, I am aware it is often underestimated and overlooked on a national political, economic and social stage, despite being home to some major institutions and innovative regional organisations from across the credit, collections, and debt spectrum.
"The utilities sector is an important one for MALG and an area that we have historically struggled to engage with, so the involvement of Wessex Water and others in our regional groups is vital.
"The latest meeting hosted at Wessex Water and featuring a presentation of the company's vulnerability strategy was our most successful yet and we expect to continue to see the group grow and develop," added Bob.
On the day, Sue Lindsay, our director of customer policy & engagement and Kate Robbins, head of customer policy, spoke about Wessex Water and the work we do to support customers in vulnerable circumstances and how our work has led us to become part of MALG.
We also had some fantastic talks from Jan Mosiewicz and Sandra Parry at Open Banking as well as Dr Jane Rigbye from GambleAware and Katie Fry from Citizens Advice, one of our longstanding partners.
If you want to find out more or would like information on how your organisation can join the Money Advice Liaison Group, please email