My picks of the week are the Bank of England speech on Debt Dynamics, if you like economics, and China trials ‘Deadbeat Map’ for a glimpse into a future you may not want to live in.
Tweet of the week
A long thread:
How expensive it is. You can’t buy groceries in bulk & often have to buy from corner shops with big markups. You probably have to use local cash machines that charge for withdrawals. The lurch in your gut whenever you do use cash machines never goes away. https://t.co/UdlsVDbs3c
— Nick Pettigrew (@Nick_Pettigrew) January 26, 2019
- Household Finance Update – December 2018 UK Finance: Growth in credit card spending continues to be largely offset by increased cardholder repayments, with almost half of cards not bearing any interest at all. This reflects the growing trend of consumers using credit cards as a preferred payment method rather than as a means of borrowing.
- Card surcharges: Customers charged hundreds illegally BBC: Credit and debit card surcharges were banned in January 2018, but retailers, letting agents and even a university have been found breaking the rules.
- EU fines Mastercard HALF A BILLION POUNDS for restricting card payment competition which ‘harmed’ consumers and retailers Mail: card payment giant’s rules before 2015 forced retailers to pay certain bank fees rather than shop around.
- Trends in the high-cost short-term credit market – January 2019 FCA 17% rise in number of HCST loans in year to June 18 compared to year to June 17.
- Wageday Advance – delaying complaints and in financial trouble? My article.
- Caroline Wayman, Chief Ombudsman, on payday loan complaints numbers My article on her evidence to Treasury Select Committee.
An early contender for worst article on debt policy in 2019:
- Why Debtors Prisons Are The Answer Quick Loans.
- Payday loan broker Quick Loans charging up to 1,575% interest wants people to go to PRISON for getting into debt Sun
- Response To The “Jail For Debtors” Article Quick Loans. “we have been on the verge of leaving the finance industry for a little while. Today we decided to call it a day and sell the business as a going concern.” One bit of good news.
Slough latest council to stop using bailiffs as it hires Intrum Credit Strategy: “we are keen to see how an ethical approach to collecting debts can improve outcomes for everyone.”
- Borrowers left high and dry as mortgage lenders withdraw from the market Telegraph: The self-employed and those buying homes through a company structure have been worst hit.
- Older homeowners struggling to sell their properties are releasing £11million a day in equity to fund their retirement, experts claim Mail: Equity release amounted to almost £4billion, an increase of nearly a third on 2017.
Debt dynamics Bank of England: Even across individual households, the rate at which debt had accumulated in the run-up to the crisis seemed to tell you more about a borrower’s subsequent difficulties than the level of gearing. My comment – interesting, I’m not sure I agree with the section on PCP.
- Pawnshops and payday lenders surge on US government shutdown FT (£ paywall) Specialist consumer-financiers help bridge earnings gap for federal workers.
- China trials ‘Deadbeat Map’ app to monitor citizens’ debts as part of social credit score system Telegraph: An add-on to WeChat, was rolled out in a trial in Hebei province last week… users can check if people within a 550 yard radius have failed to pay their debts.
Merseyside’s Fightback Against Universal Credit HuffPo video: #HungerDoesntWearClubColours
Unfit DWP should be axed, says thinktank Guardian: Most of the work of Amber Rudd’s department could be carried out more effectively by other Whitehall ministries, according to a report by Demos.
Mersea Island homeless grandparents living in car BBC: To keep clean, they have been washing and brushing their teeth in supermarket toilets.
Five key takeaways on UK household spending Resolution Foundation: despite the stereotype of millennials as avocado-toast-eating jet-setters, recent growth in holidaying and eating food in cafés and restaurants has been driven solely by older households.
The insurance renewal quote that priced me out of house and home FT: An everyday tale of the loyalty penalty – may carry more weight as it’s by Paul Lewis. “How I saved £650 in 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon”