The major news last week was the long-awaited and epic in scope FCA Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers.
But for a shorter read, try Louise Casey: ‘Are we ever going to create a Britain for everyone?’
Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers FCA: We want to drive improvements in the way firms treat vulnerable consumers and bring about a practical shift in firms’ actions and behaviour. We want vulnerable consumers to experience outcomes as good as other consumers and to get consistently fair treatment across the sectors we regulate.
Why second-charge loans could be the answer for persistent debt borrowers Mortgage Introducer: “Their credit card company wanted them to pay twice the interest accrued that month as a means to drive down their balance. Unable to take such a drop in disposable income and while in the middle of a fixed rate period on their first-charge mortgage, their financial adviser successfully identified a second-charge mortgage as the solution and introduced them to us.” My comment – oh dear god…
Individual Voluntary Arrangements Outcomes and Providers 2020 Insolvency Service: there is an emerging increasing trend in termination rates for IVAs.
- StepChange’s comments on them: While IVAs can absolutely be the best solution for the right people in the right circumstances, they can also be very expensive and harmful if missold to people for whom they are unsuitable.
Loan shark fears as fewer investigations begin during Covid crisis BBC: coronavirus restrictions have caused practical issues such as difficulties in serving warrants. As a result, the number of new investigations dropped during 2020 – with only 95 getting underway between April and November.
Klarna cashes in on the rise of ‘buy now, pay later’ shopping Times (paywall): Klarna, which has 87 million global active consumers, including seven million in Britain, said that the value of transactions made using its payment platform had risen by 46 per cent to $53 billion in 2020 from $35 billion a year earlier.
“Helping Out With The Backlog” HCEOA – possibly more accurately entitled “High court bailiffs want to get their hands on more debts”.
- The Credit Score Pandemic Paradox and Credit Invisibility National Consumer Law Centre: why have credit scores remained steady [in America], or even increased, despite the financial ruin caused by record unemployment, with entire industries such as restaurants and tourism decimated?
- Almost every adult in England and Wales could get £750 share of £34 BILLION claim against credit checker Experian Mail: Experian is accused of mis-selling people’s data and building potentially inaccurate profiles that can affect decisions on credit. My comment – don’t bank on it.
Benefits & other news
The Conservative Government’s Record on Social Security: Policies, Spending and Outcomes, May 2015 to pre-COVID 2020 LSE: The value of the state safety net has become even more strongly dictated by age. In 2019 the minimum income guaranteed for a pensioner couple placed them just above the poverty line, while for working-age couples this fell to just 42% of the poverty line.
Ethnicity, personal finances and Coronavirus FCA Insight: a larger number of BAME consumers than White consumers feel their financial situation has worsened. However, when we control for factors such as age, gender and income, ethnicity itself is not an important factor in financial product ownership, financial situation and use of financial services.
Louise Casey: ‘Are we ever going to create a Britain for everyone?’ Guardian: Are we ever going to create a Britain that’s for everyone? And if not now, then when? We’ve shown [in the pnademic] we don’t have to have rough sleepers, which means that we could now decide as a country that this is it. That we will not have rough sleepers ever again.
More than 264,000 Help to Save accounts opened gov.uk: Help to Save is the government-backed savings scheme that allows individuals to earn a 50p bonus for every £1 saved over 4 years.