A huge amount of important news this week, including bad news for mortgage prisoners and leaseholders affected by cladding problems.
Tweet of the week
Are you working under a MaPS contract? We need your help to design a survey for colleagues to gather evidence of the problems being caused. We know how busy you are, but if you can spare some time to help us with this, please drop us an e-mail to email@example.com
— we_are_debt_advisers_uk (@DebtWe) April 27, 2021
- Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) 2021 protocol Insolvency Service: here it is – I will be writing on it next week.
- Commentary – Individual Insolvency Statistics January to March 2021 Insolvency Service: Compared to same quarter 2020 – bankruptcies down 39%, DROs down 40% and IVAs up 26%. OMG.
- Barclays sees £900m growth opportunity in payments Finextra: payments now account for eight per cent of Barclays’ total income – £1.7 billion last year.
- The banks have had their lunch stolen Times (paywall): Barclays has signed a deal with the world’s biggest online retailer to offer “buy now, pay later” credit to Amazon customers in the UK.
- NatWest says fewer customers defaulting on loans despite Covid BBC: NatWest Group, which owns RBS, was able to release £102m it had set aside for bad loans in the first quarter after “better than expected” repayments.
- Barclays quietly rewrites terms and conditions to allow it to impose new fees if interest rates go negative Mail: Under the changes, Barclays can introduce a new cap on the amount of money customers can hold fee-free in any account. It can then start charging customers who hold deposits above that level.
- Saving cash BBC: Every weekday there is a counter service, an automatic deposit machine, and a free-to-use ATM. Each day, a member of staff from a different bank comes in to help with trickier transactions.
- Treasury snubbing ‘mortgage prisoners’, say MPs BBC: MPs are challenging the government to live up to a promise to help homeowners trapped paying high interest rates because the Treasury sold their mortgages to unregulated firms.
- Government rejects interest rate cap for mortgage prisoners – but the fight won’t stop MSE: a good article.
- Government Fire Safety Bill victory ’will see leaseholders ruined’ Building Design: Legislation which could see hundreds of thousands of leaseholders facing crippling fire safety bills of up to £100,000 has passed through Parliament after MPs voted against an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill.
- Cladding loan scheme must be abolished and replaced with ‘comprehensive’ fund, say MPs Inside Housing: “The loan scheme should be abolished. Instead, costs should be fully met by [a] comprehensive Building Safety Fund, paid for by the government and the industry,” the report said.
Years in the making, the Domestic Abuse Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes law SEA: “We are particularly pleased to see economic abuse named in the definition of domestic abuse, bringing this devastating form of abuse into plain sight. “
- Breathing space factsheet National Debtline: the best description so far for a client – 3,500+ words…
- Breathing Space: Citizens Advice debt experts explain what you need to know Citizens Advice
- Breathing Space scheme StepChange
- Struggling Brits can apply for two-month ‘breathing space’ from debts from next week Mirror
Provident to dump doorstep loans arm Mail: A source with knowledge of the plans said the company was preparing to tell shareholders when it publishes its annual results on May 10. My comment – someone seems to have put 2 and 2 together and been surprised at the answer. Plus the usual scaremongering about loan sharks.
- StepChange redundancies & the funding of debt advice my article: the pandemic has demonstrated how a debt funding model based on the amount people in debt can repay is always going to fail badly in recessions, when it is most needed.
- Stepchange Redundancies: Is it about Covid and a Flawed Funding Model? Advice Scotland blog: it is hard to see that Stepchange is in a Crisis or that the 10% of cuts to staff are even necessary, as claimed by the CEO Phil Andrews.
Martin Lewis: ‘There’s an epidemic of scams, but fraudsters are getting off scot-free’ Guardian: The consumer champion explains why it’s crucial the new online safety bill includes fraud and con adverts
Benefits & other news
Boy wins case against Home Office policy of no recourse to public funds Guardian: British boy and his Zimbabwean-born mother argued policy denied them access to welfare safety net.
A U-shaped crisis Resolution Foundation: The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on older workers
Sharp rise in mental illness among those whose income fell away during Covid Guardian: Steepest decline in wellbeing came among those newly reliant on universal credit and self-employment grants, UK survey finds
News round-ups are published every Sunday.
You can subscribe to this blog to be notified when new articles are published, see below.