My pick of last week’s news is the great report from ASIC: “Disclosure – why it shouldn’t be the default.” Everyone interested in consumer and financial regulation should read it!
Has Wonga offered you a low settlement? This may be a bad offer! My article. Are the Wonga Administrators misleading people who have an outstanding loan?
Rules juggle protection of payday loan borrowers and lending market FT (paywall) Can loan caps and creditworthiness standards cut risks without killing off regulated providers?
Debt still cripples victims a year after financial abuse agreement Independent: “We are still keen that banks address the issue of coerced debt and write off debts incurred in this way”
These Men Killed Themselves After The Government Hit Them With Historic Tax Demands Buzzfeed there were three basic reasons the policy was unfair: that it cut across the “statutory safeguards” of time limits in tax legislation, that most people affected by the loan charge had “little choice or awareness” of their actions, and that HMRC themselves were largely responsible for the build-up of tax arrears.
ASIC ‘calls time’ on disclosure reliance A joint report from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets, looking at Australian, Dutch, American and British case studies in credit, insurance, banking, pensions and investments. “Mandated disclosure still has an important role to play. It contributes to market transparency and can enhance competition. But its value as a consumer protection tool cannot be assumed.”
- Full report: Disclosure – why it shouldn’t be the default.
CP19/28: Motor finance discretionary commission models and consumer credit commission disclosure FCA: This paper consults on proposals to: ban commission models that can give brokers and motor dealers an incentive to increase a customer’s interest rate.
Cheap mortgages create middle-class debt risk Times (paywall): “Many borrowers have been lulled into a false sense of security by today’s low rates, but have ended up borrowing more than they could afford.”
Retired plumber fears financial ruin over £1.2m pension scheme debt The Herald: The sums due appear vastly over-inflated, particularly when schemes have no deficit, because the law stipulates that they must be calculated on a buy-out basis while existing employer-members must also foot the bill for employers that have already left.
Benefits & other news
Chance to ‘win while you save’ with new credit union prize account gov.uk Treasury launches pilot of new PrizeSaver account, with savers who put away as little as £1 with participating credit unions having the chance to win up to £5,000 a month.
Barclays must axe its post office cash ban, says Andrea Leadsom Mail: Kelly Tolhurst, the Post Office minister… said that she and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom had ordered the bank to backtrack in a private meeting and a formal telephone call.
Computer says no: the people trapped in universal credit’s ‘black hole’ Guardian: Charities are trying to help. Blyde, for example, relies on Gary Fawcett at the Your Voice Counts in Gateshead. He has spent 155 hours on her case, remarking: “It almost broke our project.”