My pick of last week’s news is the BNPL news – Klarna’s new Pay now option and the Treasury at lasts consults on regulation.
- Fears over the future of free debt advice BBC: There is growing concern that free, face-to-face advice which helps hundreds of thousands out of debt each year could be cut.
- Response to MaPS call for evidence on access to debt advice during the Covid-19 Pandemic We are Debt Advisers: pointing out that “We are also concerned that the results of the current consultation will not be able to influence the future landscape of provision. The procurement exercise for the new contracts took place without this evidence helping to shape the contracts on offer.”
- Klarna to offer pay now option ahead of crackdown BBC: Klarna said the “pay now” option and other changes it was making would give customers more clarity and control.
- Beware using Klarna’s new ‘pay now’ service – you will lose vital Section 75 protection MSE: the pay now payment will simply be taken from your linked credit or debit card. So while you may assume you’d get the same protection as if you paid using your cards directly, that’s not correct for credit cards.
- Regulation of Buy-Now Pay-Later: consultation Treasury: This is a consultation on the legal changes to allow the FCA to regulate BNPL – it’s fiddly. After this is sorted, the FCA will consult on the actual regulations.
- Buy Now Pay Later borrowing can be like quicksand Citizens Advice: Split payments are offered as a temptation at the checkout, but the consequences can be devastating for those who are least able to deal with them.
- Government pledges £65m to help vulnerable renters in arrears in England Guardian: Landlord and homelessness organisations say funding not enough to cover estimated £300m in Covid rent debts
- Local Housing Allowance Parliamentary written question for the DWP: 1,896k households in receipt of LHA via Housing Benefit or Universal Credit in Great Britain. Of these, 982k had rents which exceeded the LHA and the median gap was £100/month.
- ‘No DSS’: Renters on benefits still turned down for housing BBC: “I’ve applied for more than 200 properties – so many that we’ve now stopped counting,” she said.
Inflation and interest rates:
- Dragged down by debt: Millions of low-income households pulled under by arrears while living costs rise JRF: We find that 3.8 million low-income households across the UK are in arrears, and 4.4 million have had to take on new or increased borrowing through the pandemic. Many of these households weren’t in arrears before the pandemic.
- British households will be £1,000 worse off next year, thinktank warns Guardian: Resolution Foundation finds household incomes set to fall by about 2% amid cost of living squeeze
- Bank of England faces ‘live’ decision on rates as inflation could hit 5% in the coming months, new chief economist warns Mail: Pill suggested that rates would not need to move much higher than their pre-pandemic level of 0.75 per cent.
- Interest rates may be rising soon. Will your finances stand the strain? Observer: Market-watchers are expecting an increase as early as next month. Here’s how it would hit mortgages, savings and debt.
Abolish energy price cap, says Scottish Power boss BBC: His solution would be the abolition of the cap while having a special tariff for people in fuel poverty.
Drivers at risk of £160 fines from Monday as ULEZ expansion kicks in – check your car Mirror: Transport for London (TfL) is urging drivers to use its online checker to find out if they will have to pay the levy.
FCA to warn younger investors off cryptos and other high-risk products Guardian: Hype and the thrill of gambling are pushing inexperienced people into danger, says City watchdog
News round-ups are published every Sunday.
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