FCA has issued its latest Handbook update, which confirms:
- changes to CONC, effective from 1 October, so firms can offer a greater variety of fixed instalment plans in their credit card products. FCA has routinely been granting firms modifications to allow payments first to be allocated to sums due under offered instalment plans even where the rate of interest is lower than for other transactions on the card. The new rule will state that firms should offer fixed instalment plans only where the firm concludes, acting reasonably, that it is likely to be in the customer’s best interests. FCA notes that the wording is not identical to the wording in the Consumer Duty and that it does not intend it to be, yet does not think this will make it inconsistent with the Consumer Duty. It has also left the wording of the new rule deliberately wide in some respects; and
- various minor changes to miscellaneous parts of the Handbook, including to amend SUP to refer to the “Supervision Hub” instead of the “Contact Centre”.