My pick of last week’s news is one you may not have read: Why do we believe Americans spend too much money on coffee and avocado toast?
Tweets of the week
Let’s hope this is the end of commercial advertising on postnatal wards – Time to wave bye bye to Bounty and all marketing to pregnant women and new mothers .@babyfriendly @MidwivesRCM
BBC News – Bounty pregnancy club fined £400,000 over data handling https://t.co/qR9G6kmXA0
— Francesca (@Francesca343) April 12, 2019
JP Morgan’s billionaire CEO can’t explain how one of his low-paid employees should budget her salary pic.twitter.com/W4iCkg1WYH
— The Guardian (@guardian) April 11, 2019
High cost credit:
- Payday lenders risk collapse after a flood of complaints Times (paywall) The only financial product drawing more complaints is payment protection insurance (PPI)
- Wonga – new online Claims Portal goes live – my article. The portal is live but not yet officially launched – that is expected to be on the 15 April.
- Thousands struggling with guarantor loans seek help Times (paywall) Stepchange recorded 22,281 clients with guarantor loans last year. That was up by 35 per cent from 2017 and compared with only 635 in 2012.
Council tax & bailiffs:
- MPs demand regulator to crack down on bailiffs BBC: Justice Committee chairman Bob Neill said: “We were surprised that no regulator is already in place.”
- Council tax debts in England soar 40% in six years Guardian: Charities say ‘huge issue’ of arrears is now as big a problem as credit card debts
- Problem debts could impact up to 700,000 people in Scotland BBC: StepChange Scotland, which helped 30,000 people struggling with money issues last year, said council tax arrears were a problem for 46% of them.
- Government pledges to improve the way Council Tax debt is recovered gov.uk: Vulnerable people who fall behind with Council Tax payments will have greater protection from aggressive debt enforcement under new plans to improve the way councils collect arrears.
MAT’s new How To Deal With Debt guide:
Gregory Pennington embeds Open Banking solution to debt management UK Tech News: Customers will now be able to complete the regulatory-required annual review and financial assessment by simply providing consent for the extraction of transactional data from their current account to populate the financial statement.
Single mum left with £1,318 bill after pumping hundreds of pounds into a ‘no deposit’ tenancy scheme Mail: a new scheme … leaves tenants liable for potentially hundreds of pounds in claims at the end of their tenancies.
‘Dangerous’ online betting and games becoming major problem for next generation Mirror: “I’d be forced to turn to payday lenders to make it through the month. I ended up with about 26 loans on the go, from all sorts of lenders. When one said no, I simply went to another”.
Almost £1billion of unpaid student loans is outstanding as graduates fail to repay debt Sun: Officials are trying to claw back the cash from 60,000 graduates that studied in the UK – 42,000 British students and 18,000 graduates from EU countries.
Benefits & other news
Breast-cancer mum left distraught and with just 84 pence to survive on after Universal Credit shambles Liverpool Echo:
Gillian Sykes is preparing for a double mastectomy – and says she is already ‘fighting for survival’ with the DWP
Why do we believe Americans spend too much money on coffee and avocado toast? Washington Post “a crabbed meanness and casual obliviousness to the circumstances of others”.
Credit unions must say ‘no’ to wealthy ethical savers Times (paywall) Affluent investors want to help low-income borrowers, but archaic Bank of England rules stand in the way.