My pick of last week’s news is Crumbling Britain: The quiet decline of English courts.
- FCA Strategic Review of Retail Banking – Progress report FCA: This review looks at the sources of competitive advantage that have helped the major banks to retain their market shares in the recent past, with a view to evaluating the potential for change and the impact of that change on business models. My view – another 55 pages based on the premise that more competition will solve problems.
- FCA boss: ‘No such thing as free banking’ BBC: About half of customers who had a credit card and a current account used the same bank for both, and a similar proportion had a loan with the same bank – even though these might not offer the best deals.
- Thousands more bank branches ‘will probably close in the coming years’ putting 12,000 jobs at risk Mail: Research suggests a quarter of the biggest banks’ branches could be closed
- Cuts to free cashpoints are on the way: are you affected? Which? : cashpoint closures following Link’s announcement actually increased six-fold from 50 per month in 2015 to 300 a month during the six-month period we analysed.
Our impact and annual reports Money Advice Trust: National Debtline helped 140,500 people on the phone. We helped a further 43,500 people through our webchat service. In addition there were 1,362,500 visits to the National Debtline website.
Crumbling Britain: The quiet decline of English courts New Statesman: Local papers have reported a large increase in arrest warrants issued for people just not turning up at court.
Helping to solve the council tax debt epidemic Citizens Advice: How Citizens Advice Wolverhampton are helping the council and local residents better manage council tax debt.
Financial institutions M&A trends: UK consumer finance Lexology: Regulation has put the brakes on deal activity involving credit card providers and payday lenders, but speciality and marketplace lenders are continuing to attract large amounts of strategic and private equity interest.
Labour says government adding £16,000 to graduate debts by ‘rigging’ student loan interest rates Independent: The government is cherry-picking inflation measures to maximise profits. They’ve used one measure to cut workers’ pensions and another to drive up student debt, simultaneously robbing the old and the young.
Beware the Amazon fraud trap: John and Dell were charged £195 for an item they didn’t order Mail: A long battle after the Financial Ombudsman doesn’t help.
Durham University student accommodation row fee protest BBC: Durham University Students’ Union (SU) said the fees [for university provided accommodatation] had increased from £4,854 in 2010-11 to £7,171 in 2017-18.
“It’s a hellish system”: the reality of life on Universal Credit The Big Issue: Foodbanks, arrears and psychiatric care – read the heartbreaking accounts of those surviving day-to-day as the government’s new benefits system comes into force.
CIH calls for suspension of Right to Buy in major social housing report Inside Housing: the Chartered Institute of Housing has said that social housing should not be seen as a “safety net”, but should compete with private housing and cater to a wider range of people.
400,000 British teens lured into under-aged gambling through video games, investigation reveals Telegraph: Most of the virtual items traded on Steam and other games come from “loot boxes”, digital reward packages bought for real money. They are banned in Belgium and regulated in China and Japan because their unpredictable rewards make them addictive like slot machines.