Debt collection group launches utility connection and disconnection arm

Perch MBO deal team

Blackpool-based Perch Group, a debt purchase, collections and litigation firm, has launched a new company designed to offer clients in the utilities, financial services, and other specialist sectors a different approach to customer verification, reconnection and disconnection of services. 

Verify will be headed up by managing Director Gary Jones, who brings over 35 years’ experience in collections and field services, supported by Karl Humphries as Director of Field Operations who has more than 20 years’ experience within the debt recovery industry specialising in utilities.

Verify will aim to provide utility companies new disconnection and reconnection services as part of Perch Group’s overall debt management offer. 

Perch underwent a management buyout in April 2022 with support from specialist lender Quilam Capital. As well as a large committed debt facility, Quilam also has a direct equity stake in the business.

Activities of Verify will include recoveries, trace, field and temporary disconnection with specialist accreditation to carry out temporary water disconnections and reconnections. 

Working alongside the rest of Perch Group’s industry-leading management team, Verify claim they have built “a unique proposition combining in-depth data & analytics with the latest cloud-based technology and a team of highly trained, vetted, experienced and accredited agents to enable more informed decision-making and smarter, fairer outcomes.” 

Following the launch of Verify, the wider Perch Group can now fully support utility and service provider clients to interact with both their consumers and commercial customers to resolve complex accounts at any point in the debt lifecycle from pre-arrears to post-litigation/pre-enforcement. 

Andrew Bartle, Chief Commercial Officer at Perch Group, said:  “We had a vision to revolutionise the way utilities and financial services providers reconnect with their customers using a data-driven approach to everything from Customer Verification Visits to meter inspections and, where appropriate, temporary disconnections, while still putting the customer first. Bringing Gary and Karl on board and combining their experience with the wider Group’s data capabilities, compliance standards and entrepreneurial culture has allowed us to find smarter ways of working which save our clients time and money and reduce the hassle for customers. We are excited to finally launch Verify publicly and start building what I know will be a hugely successful and highly regarded business.” 

Craig Hinchcliffe

Perch Group CEO Craig Hinchliffe adds:  “Verify may be new to the market but it is underpinned by a great team with great tech and a great infrastructure, which means that it can hit the ground running as a trusted supplier which clients can rely on to uphold the highest industry standards. And unlike many of its competitors, it’s starting with a modern platform that’s highly configurable to suit the ever-changing needs of clients and customers. I’m confident it’ll very quickly become a market leader in customer verification and reconnection as a key part of Perch Group’s end-to-end proposition.” 

Perch Group was formed in 2018 and includes Perch Capital which set up a senior debt line in October 2019, providing the business with a £25m debt facility to grow.

In August 2020 Perch moved to its head office to Whitehills Business Park in Blackpool. The business employs over 120 staff.


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