My pick of last week’s news is the FCA confirming that payment holidays are ending. Most newspapers seem to be reporting this in surprisingly positive light…
FCA confirms next stage of support for consumer credit and overdraft customers FCA: as expected the FCA has confirmed its proposals that Covid-19 payments holidays will be ending and forbearance in future will mean people’s credit records affected.
- Struggling families may have credit card and loan interest and charges cancelled in new FCA rules Sun: Firms will have to offer short and long term plans to minimise stress and anxiety felt by those in financial difficulty.
- New measures to help those struggling to pay car finance due to coronavirus difficulties outlined by FCA Car Dealer: Car finance customers facing financial difficulties as a result of the on-going coronavirus pandemic should be offered ‘support and flexibility’ by lenders.
Money and Credit – August 2020 Bank of England: The lower consumer credit net borrowing reflected gross borrowing increasing by less than gross repayments. Both remained around 16% lower than their pre-covid levels.
Reset debt of poorest families in Britain, say Churches Church Times: The group is asking the Government to create a Jubilee Fund to provide grants for debt relief, to provide greater security in the winter months. The £5-billion one-off scheme would relieve solely debts accrued during lockdown — particularly rent, council tax, and utilities — in an attempt to stop people from losing their homes.
Under-fire Prime Minister bids to win back younger supporters by promising to create ‘Generation Buy’ with new low deposit mortgages Mail: Mr Johnson said mortgages that help people get onto the housing ladder were needed, ‘even if they only have a very small amount to pay by way of deposit, the 95% mortgages’.
From SMI to Mortgage Support Centre for Policy Studies: The case for SMI reform: as well as being necessary and compassionate, such measures will be far more cost-effective for government than seeing people lose their homes and go on to housing benefit.
First Postmaster convictions to be uncontested Post Office Trial blog: The Post Office will not be contesting 44 of the 47 convictions referred back to the Court of Appeal and Crown Courts by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in March and June of this year… Some of those who heard the news today have been waiting nearly 20 years for justice.
Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers Money Advice Trust response to FCA consultation: We think there are a number of areas where small updates could be made to the final Guidance, which would make a big difference in clarifying firms’ responsibilities.
Loan Charge APPG calls for a genuine settlement opportunity Loan Charge APPG: calls for a delay of the Loan Charge declaration from the end of September 2020 to the end of January 2021, to allow a 6 month period for such voluntary settlement agreements to be agreed.
Benefits & other news
Death by £1000 cuts? Resolution Foundation: The history, economics and politics of cutting benefits for millions of households next April
Access to Cash – Mapping the territory FCA Insight: we aim to assess different measures of access to cash across the UK.
Financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic for older people IFS: Policymakers will need to ensure that older individuals are supported in any employment adjustments they make, and well informed in the decisions they make regarding their pensions.
Left Behind: Single parents with pre-school aged children and job-seeking under Universal Credit in London Gingerbread: Single parents tend to see the new work requirement for those with pre-school aged children as unrealistic, describing a shortage of suitable jobs, difficulties in finding matched childcare and the availability of limited technology to job-seek.
UK: Automated Benefits System Failing People in Need Human Rights Watch: Government’s Flawed ‘Universal Credit’ Algorithm Pushing People into Poverty