Helping New Recruits Avoid Debt

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Redshaggydog, Feb 10, 2004.

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  1. WHAT!

    This topic was posted on the NAAFI Web Site.

    The last time I had the misfortune to pop into a NAAFI in the UK there was a NAAFI representative sitting at a table outside the BAR selling loans and Credit Cards.

    How can this help the New Recruits?

    Fact.. Banks want everyone to take on debt. The article goes on to say how the NAAFI are trying to get each recruit a cheap bank account, cash point cards etc. Then said recruit will be able to pull his wages from the wall, run out half way through the month and get an overdraft. Perhaps even a NAAFI loan from the girl sat outside the NAAFI Bar. Pretty soon, young squaddie is deep in debt with NAAFI calling his OC.

    Of course, NAAFI love this. Squaddie pays hefty interest on outstanding debt and has no chance of escaping as his OC now knows so his CSM/SSM is keeping a keen eye on him to ensure he pays up every month.
  2. We at NAAFI Financial do appreciate your concern over recruits - or any other service personnel - getting into unmanageable debt. However, I think it is important to point out that NAAFI Financial have not offered new credit cards to customers for over 3 years, and for many of the reasons outlined in your message. In fact when Close Brothers PLC bought an 80% share of NAAFI Financial (NAAFI retain a 20% stake) over 4 years ago, one of the first decisions that the new team made was to stop NAAFI Financial lending money.

    With regard to bank accounts, yes we do help many recruits to open bank accounts, and there is a good reason for this. Many new recruits arrive at training without an appropriate bank account, and in the case of commonwealth recruits, very often without a bank account at all. In the days when recruits were paid weekly in cash this may not have been an issue, however in the past couple of years there has been a drive to get recruits ‘bank-paid’ as quickly as possible. This led to many units having to ‘bus’ non-banking recruits to the nearest high street bank - not ideal.

    You may be aware that we have an agency agreement with Abbey, whereby Abbey customers can make withdrawals or deposits from their bank or savings account in any of our NAAFI Financial branches in Germany or Cyprus. By utilising this strategic relationship with Abbey, NAAFI Financial were able to respond to the needs of many training establishments by putting NAAFI Financial staff into the units to open Abbey accounts for recruits who needed them.

    The account in question is deliberately designed not to provide a credit card, or an overdraft facility - it also has the added bonus of allowing the customer to access their money through our branches in Germany and Cyprus should they ever wish to. Clearly, a bank-paid recruit will need to draw his or her money ‘out of the wall’ within their training unit. In order to address this need, we installed a number of ‘free-to-use’ NAAFI Financial Cash Machines into training establishments at a cost to us of over £30,000 a year.

    Why we do we do all this - what’s in it for NAAFI Financial? As a business, we feel very strongly that that if we get things right early on in a serviceman’s career, then there is a good chance that that serviceman will come back to us again and again.
  3. We do appreciate your comments.

    Unfortunately we are unable to comment on individual cases. However, we would like to reassure you that since Close Brothers PLC bought 80% of NAAFI Financial over 4 years ago, we have established a new team and a new range of products, and taken the decision to stop lending money. Instead, NAAFI Financial now concentrates on providing high quality insurance to the military, as well as banking, savings and car sales.

    If you would like us to investigate your case, please call our team on 0870 909 3909 and we will be happy to look into it for you.
  4. Good CO

    Good CO LE Admin

    Utterley pointless post from Old Bloke deleted.
  5. What evidence do you have to even suggest that 'new' recruits (never met any 'old' recruits myself) get into uncontrolable debt?

    I have spent a considerable time as an instructor and I have never seen any evidence of it.

    As for NAAFI Finance.............look around people, you're bound to find a better deal elsewhere. I wouldn't touch NAAFI Finance with a barge pole. I advise my juniors the same.

    I'll make no apology if that sticks in your throat NAAFI Finance. There are far better deals out there on everything which NAAFI deals with from beans to loans. Squaddies only come to you as you are convenient in most 'outside UK' Garrisons and they have a 'want it now' outlook on life. If they weren't in such a hurry and had better advice available to them, they wouldn't get into agreements which come with high interest rates.
  6. It's all about good man management, people...Helping recruits and sprogs once they arrive at their first unit avoid debt should be a Tp/Pl Comd level responsibility, but it doesn't happen nearly often enough.

    If I had a pound for every time I've heard some wet behind the ears subbie boasting to Tiddles, Fluff or Zara about how 'naughty' their blokes are for getting themselves into debt, and how only last week they had to cut their credit/store cards up, then I'd be a rich man. Fact is, I want to throttle the cocky little sods; that Gnr/Rfn/Tpr Jones (or his wife) has got himself into the problem in the first place is their fault. The sub-unit OC does not have time to ensure all 100 odd of his blerks are being financially sensible, but all too often, the responsibility is ignored by twenty one year olds who are themselves so naive as to live pretty much hand to mess bill.

    I agree with Badass ref Naafi financial services, to an extent; they're not all bad, but there are soooo better deals to be had. All the guys need is a push in the right direction. So come on troopies, it isn't as if yours is the most time consuming of jobs - instead of fcucking off back to the Mess at 1655 to watch the Simpsons and scoff your tea and toast, take half an hour to help young Jonesy fill out a few forms. They are your men and it is your job. Rant over.
  7. We now no longer lend money - when we purchased the business we discovered a loan book that showed that in excess of 40% of junior soldiers were in arrears (the market norm is 7-8%). Much of this had been caused by poor underwriting by the previous owners of the business and the inability to track those that had left the service.

    We totally agree, you should look around and compare before making your choice. See if you can get anyone else who will give immediate full life cover for death resulting from terrorism, death from biological and chemical agents and Nuclear War cover, as we do.

    We believe that we have changed the business since we purchased it 4 years ago. Don’t blame us for the mistakes of our predecessors… those who cannot forget the past in light of current evidence, we can’t do anything about.
  8. Who underwrites that policy?
  9. Soldier_Why

    Soldier_Why LE Moderator

    That's the NAAFI I remember so well! :D

    I wholeheartedly agree but why then call yourselves NAAFI Financial? If the previous owners were so bad then why not attempt to distance yourselves from them by some means?
  10. This is an exclusive policy designed by ourselves and underwritten by Norwich Union, and is only available through NAAFI Financial.

    We initially considered changing the name. However, customers still recognised us as NAAFI Financial and we decided that rather than changing the brand name, we would change our perception through improved products and services.
  11. Soldier_Why

    Soldier_Why LE Moderator

    Good answer! :D

    One last question though, do you still do the NAAFI Card? And if so what is the current APR?
  12. As part of our decision to stop lending money, the NAAFI Card is no longer available to new customers.