My pick of last week’s news is the FCA’s review of the debt management sector. Every debt adviser should read it.
Tweet of the week
The nightmare of welfare cuts and debt. My last 48 hours has been spent helping a lone parent with mental health issues in terrible debt crisis. Council tax debt and visit from enforcement agent was straw that broke the camels back. Customer hasn’t opened post for a year>
— Lee Healey (@leehealey_) March 12, 2019
TR19/1: Debt management sector thematic review FCA: A big improvement on their damning review of the sector in 2015. But points for all firms to note around assessing the debt solutions for couples and treatment of vulnerable customers, and the FCA is taking enforcement action against one firm.
- Debt firms found taking advantage of elderly women and cancer sufferers Mirror: Debt management firms are meant to be there to help you escape from punishing loans – but some have been found doing things that can only be described as making it worse.
- You both have debts – but may need different debt solutions an update to my article.
The FCA’s High Cost Credit supervision priorities My comments on the FCA’s latest letter.
HMRC boss accused of evading questions over contentious tax FT (£ paywall) MPs demand answers to questions about claims of people taking their own lives.
Firms MUST not collude in this system that can tip people into the red, says debt charity boss Mail: Article by Peter Tutton on CPAs.
Profiteers are making money from victims of Tory austerity – Christine Grahame Scotsman: “it is wrong, wrong, wrong, that in 2019 we have folk borrowing and getting into debt to pay to heat their homes, to cook a meal, to buy the food.”
Leaseholders win justice over rip-off fees Times (£ paywall) Those who sue their freeholder and win will soon no longer have to pay the loser’s costs.
Mortgages that reward loyalty: Renewal customers offered ‘under the counter’ deals beating those given to newcomers Mail: lenders are now far more likely to offer mortgage rates that match or even beat the best deals they offer to new customers, or that their usual arrangement fees are either slashed or waived altogether.
Benefits and other news
No escape from benefit cap for 82% of affected households Work and Pensions Committee “A policy aimed at people who could work but were choosing not to is now being applied to single mothers with newborn babies and people with serious health conditions.”
- Videos of claimants directly affected by the benefit cap Work and Pensions Committee
Welfare funding stopped by at least 20 English councils BBC: Church Action on Poverty said the amount of Local Welfare Assistance cash has slumped from £172m to £46m since 2013.
Drivers to receive greater protection against rogue private parking operators gov.uk Don’t get too excited – work is about to start on drafting a Code of Practice.