A bumper set of reading this week.
My top picks have to be two from the FCA – the urgent call for inputs in the next week about Ongoing support for consumers affected by coronavirus: mortgages and consumer credit and the massive Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers.
Tweet of the week
— David Brindle (@DavidJ_Brindle) July 30, 2020
Call for input – Ongoing support for consumers affected by coronavirus: mortgages and consumer credit FCA: asks for inputs about what should happen when payments breaks end in next few months.
Guidance Consultation and feedback statement – Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of
vulnerable customers FCA: “We want vulnerable consumers to experience outcomes that are as good as those for other consumers, and to receive consistently fair treatment across the firms and
sectors we regulate”.
- Progress on vulnerability: it’s the benefits, not the costs, that will count Chris Fitch from MAT gives his first thoughts.
‘Extend the ban’: tenants fear a wave of evictions Telegraph (paywall): The Government has confirmed that it will not propose any legislation that would give judges discretion over cases where arrears have built up during the pandemic.
Now is the time to reform SMI – before mortgage breaks end my article noting the many problems with SMI.
Over-75s’ TV licence scheme in chaos as BBC demands to see bank statements Times (paywall):
Pensioners must provide detailed proof of income to keep watching for free.
FCA sets out views on Employer Salary Advance Schemes FCA: “While most of these schemes do not fall under the FCA’s regulation, as they do not meet the definition of credit under legislation, given the similarities with some credit products we thought it may be helpful to set out our views” My comment: as they work pretty much like payday loans with lower interest rates that is, to say the least, a pity…
Help to Buy scheme extended gov.uk: short deadline extensions because of Covod-19 construction delays.
The devil wears Klarna post from a personal finance blogger: Why you should think carefully about using this product.
Bradford credit union tackles debt problem with 0% loans BBC: Bradford District Credit Union has partnered with Bradford Council to offer people furloughed or waiting for benefits a £500 loan and grant package.
Money and mental health 2019/20, what a year – ‘Stop the Charge’, ‘Mental Health Accessible’ and Covid… Martin Lewis’s statement as Chair of MMHPI in their annual report: This year, with the extraordinary events due to the coronavirus outbreak, an honest hope is to limit the damage where we can.
‘Calm before the storm’: UK small businesses fear for their future FT (but no paywall): More than four months since lockdown began, many companies are running out of cash.
Benefits & other news
The trouble with measuring poverty ONS: Poverty remains a significant issue for the UK and has the potential to be of greater importance as we adjust to life following Covid-19. This is why we are launching a systemic review on the coherence of poverty statistics in Autumn 2020.
The Government is not paying nine million people’s wages Resolution Foundation: The number of people currently furloughed is less than half this amount.
Redundancy pay to be protected for furloughed workers BBC: My view, obviously good, but the article doesn’t point out it won’t apply to people whose contractual redundancy or notice pay is higher than the statutory assessment.
- Universal credit needs £8bn overhaul, says cross-party report Guardian: Lords committee finds reforms are needed to make benefits system ‘fit for purpose’ amid Covid-19 crisis
- Reforming Universal Credit: the priorities Nicholas Timmins (author of “The Five Giants”): The committee might have done better to direct a few well-aimed rifle shots at a limited number of targets, before listing other desirables. So here is an attempt to do that.
Understanding the Impact of Universal Credit on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Rent Arrears in Wales gov.wales: households in receipt of Universal Credit see four times as many changes in their council tax reduction entitlement … A quarter [of claimants] believed that an application for council tax reduction was included as part of Universal Credit…
Landlords in England ignoring ‘no DSS’ ban, claim private renters Guardian: People on benefits report still being discriminated against, despite landmark court ruling.