Another busy week! The DRO changes announced in New measures to help vulnerable people in problem debt are my top pick, but the New Consumer Duty the FCA has started to consult on is very interesting for the future.
Tweet of the week
Have just written to @CityWestminster in support of a plea from Great Ormond Street Hospital to help a child with cancer living in a property riddled with damp and mould. It’s not a letter I feel I should have to write in London in 2021 yet here we are.
— Karen Buck (@KarenPBuckMP) May 13, 2021
CP21/13: A new Consumer Duty FCA consults on the introduction of a new Consumer Principle.
High cost credit:
- Provident closes its doorstep loan operation after 140 years my article
- Provident Financial withdraws from doorstep lending after 140 years BBC
- FCA letter to Amigo : “The FCA considers that a fair compromise could have, but in this case has not been,
proposed to Scheme Creditors to vote upon.”
- Amigo Loans rescue in doubt after FCA says it will object in court Guardian: “a U-turn by the main financial regulator, which said it would object in court to a deal”
OpenWrks merging with Tully, PayPlan and PayLink OpenWrks blog: PayPlan most readers will know. PayLink provides collections software eg allowing banks to let their customers complete a digital income & expenditure form. OpenWrks provides Open banking solutions. Tully aimed to be a fully digital DMP firm, free to client, eliminating the need for large amounts of telephone contact, but has never really taken off.
New measures to help vulnerable people in problem debt Insolvency Service annoucement of the DRO changes that will be implemented by end June.
- Summary of responses and Government response Insolvency Service: The Government recognises there have been significant changes in the personal debt and insolvency landscape over the years… and will issue a Call for Evidence on the current personal insolvency framework in due course.
- Thousands of hard-up Britons could benefit from biggest changes to Debt Relief Orders in years… but they still face a £90 upfront fee Mail: The application comes with a £90 fee which will remain unchanged, despite a review by regulators in February calling it ‘a significant barrier to uptake’.
‘Buy now, pay later services’ are helping to create a new generation of debtors Guardian: “BNPL … a step beyond the credit card that numbs consumers to the financial consequences of their purchases.”
We got into a debt nightmare after switch to Together Energy Guardian: two readers’ stories – botched transfers ,change of billing system, changed account numbers, and backbilling (which is against regulator rules).
In America – JPMorgan, Others Plan to Issue Credit Cards to People With No Credit Scores WSJ (paywall): The effort, if successful, would mark a significant change in the underwriting tactics of big banks, which for decades have enshrined credit scores and credit reports as the main tools to determine who gets a loan.
Benefits & other news
Nearly half of food bank users in debt to DWP, research finds Independent: “Benefit levels are already too low so when deductions are taken, struggle often turns into destitution.”
Detained men released following hours-long community stand-off Glasgow Live: Hundreds of activists surrounded a UK Border Agency van in Kenmure Street, containing two men from a nearby property. Officers surrounded the van and lined each end of the street. Protesters chanted “these are our neighbours, let them go”.
Universal basic income to be tested in Wales BBC: “We need to make an early start on designing the pilot to make sure that we have the best chance of operating a pilot that allows us to draw the conclusions from it that we would all want to see.”
The future of cash: seven things we learned from the Which? Cash Summit Which? : “Once again, it comes down to innovation and legislation.”
News round-ups are published every Sunday.
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