My pick of last week’s news is MAT’s response on Ongoing support for consumers affected by coronavirus. But anyone interested in high-cost lending should also read my summary of Kerrigan v Elevate.
Tweet of the week
Their defence is literally: we gave all the right grades, just not necessarily to the right people pic.twitter.com/d7T8DVZ9k3
— Chris Cook (@xtophercook) August 14, 2020
Kerrigan v Elevate Credit – an “unfair relationship” my article. A summary of this important judgment and a look at the implications for other complaints.
Ongoing support for consumers affected by coronavirus MAT: Response to the FCA’s Call for Input. In a situation where there are no nice, easy options MAT works through what may really help.
Companies warn of collapse as English councils resume debt collection FT (paywall): A number of councils have started chasing businesses for unpaid rates bills, as well as residential tenants for council tax, without which they say they may struggle to deliver their services.
Hidden impact of crippling debt in coronavirus crisis Express & Star: “We want everybody to know it’s okay to talk about finances, that many people are struggling and you are not on your own. It’s an old adage but a problem shared is a problem halved.”
Households get their finances into shape over lockdown Mail: Experian finds customers cleared nearly £2,000 of debt each between March and June.
Payment holiday takers trapped by lending rules amid fears of second wave Independent: this is a crisis of two halves, and there are plenty more Britons for whom debt never went away. It got worse as people fell through the support net, often turning to or falling further into the clutches of high-cost lenders like payday or doorstep loan companies, in a bid to cover everyday bills or other debts.
Coronavirus: Charities welcome extended eviction ban in Scotland BBC: Charity Crisis said the move showed “real leadership,” whilst Shelter said the “decisive action” would help thousands of renters. A similar ban in England and Wales is due to end later this month.
There was nothing groovy about renting stuff when I was growing up Guardian: This generation has been shafted quite enough without being lured to sleepwalk yet deeper into the murk of rental insecurity, whether it’s homes, cars, desks or toasters.
Pardner: The young people saving money the Jamaican way BBC news video.
Benefits & other news
UK’s poorest ‘skip meals and go hungry’ during coronavirus crisis Guardian: Food Standards Agency report finds food insecurity has shot up, bringing risk of malnutrition and obesity.
‘Raise sick pay’ to lower virus health and economic risks BBC: It argues that as the furlough scheme – which has supported the wages of 9.6 million workers – is phased out, statutory sick pay of £95.85 a week is a major disincentive for workers to self-isolate.
List of councils still offering School Uniform Grant as parents warn it’s disappearing Mirror: The support grant, which can amount to £150 per child, was introduced by the government in the 1980s to help families on low incomes meet the cost of school uniforms.
Coronavirus lets funeral cheats off the hook as radical market reform fails to materialise Mail: the industry has got off lightly. Rigorous regulation remains a pipe dream rather than something that is going to happen in the near future.
Bulb to pay £1.76 million for compliance issues Ofgem: Bulb failed to comply with Ofgem’s rules in three separate areas between 2017 and 2020, which affected around 61,000 customers.
Spelling out the problems as banks’ name-checker rejects vital payments Guardian: The confirmation of payee scheme is designed to beat scammers, but causes its own difficulties.