Category Consumer Credit

ASA Ruling on Intelligent Lending Ltd t/a Ocean Finance

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint about a credit card advertisement broadcast by Intelligent Lending Limited t/a Ocean Finance. The complainant challenged whether the advertisement should have included a representative APR. The radio advertisement, broadcasted in January 2018, stated “Apparently there are still some people who say they don’t want to apply for an Ocean credit […]

GOVERNMENT SCRAPS NEW GOODS MORTGAGES BILL

HM Treasury has published the response to its September 2017 consultation on the proposed Goods Mortgages Bill and has announced that it is no longer planning to introduce new legislation on this subject at this time. This follows a review of the existing legislation governing creation of security over goods by individuals which began in 2014. In a 2016 report, the Law […]

FCA makes new rules

FCA (in one case together with FOS) has made several instruments amending the Handbook. Changes include: changes to FEES (from 1 April) to ensure better mapping of tariff data and that Directive and non-Directive insurers are treated consistently. Further change creates a new fee-block for consumer credit lending as a mechanism for collecting the levy for […]

Wyman report on debt advice funding published

Peter Wyman’s report on a review of debt advice funding has been published. The report makes several recommendations, including: face-to-face advice should still be widely available but there should be general and phased shifts by free-to-client providers from face-to-face to phone and then to webchat; free-to-client providers should commit to 20% efficiency savings over the next 2 financial years, […]

Claims Management regulations published for consultation

As part of the proposed process of transferring the regulation of Claims Management Companies to the FCA, HM Treasury is consulting on draft regulations  that will form part of a final statutory instrument creating a new framework of regulation for Claims Management Companies (CMCs). The draft regulations set out the proposed permissions that CMCs will […]

BEIS publishes Green Paper on modernising consumer markets

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on proposals which, among other issues, seek to to improve the consumer experience in regulated markets for utilities, telecommunications and financial services and to ensure consumers buying and selling online benefit from new technology and business models, and have appropriate protection for their personal data. […]

ESAs report on key risks for H2 2017

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published its report for the second half of 2017.  This report highlights the following potential sources of instability: repricing of risk premia uncertainties regarding the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU; cyber attacks; and climate change. The report urges firms and supervisory authorities to seek […]

FCA and PRA publish business plans

The FCA and the PRA have both published their business plans for 2018/2019. The FCA’s business plan shines a spotlight on consumer protection, including in relation to pension products and high-cost credit, as an area of concern for the forthcoming year, as well as ongoing programmes such as Brexit, and firms’ culture and governance (including […]

FCA and PRA consult on 2018/2019 regulated fee and levy rate proposals

The FCA and PRA have, separately, published consultation papers on regulated fees and levies for 2018/19. In its consultation paper, the FCA sets out the proposed 2018/19 regulatory fees and levies for itself, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Money Advice Service, the Pension Wise service and HM Treasury’s illegal money lending expenses.  The FCA also […]

FCA PUBLISHES POLICY STATEMENT AND FINALISED GUIDANCE ON STAFF INCENTIVES, REMUNERATION AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN CONSUMER CREDIT

The FCA has published a Policy Statement (PS18/7) and Finalised Guidance (FG18/2) on staff incentives, remuneration and performance management in consumer credit. The Policy Statement sets out final rules for staff incentives, remuneration and performance management in consumer credit firms. The Finalised Guidance sets out examples of good and bad practice observed by the FCA […]

Complaints Commissioner concerned about information sharing between FOS and FCA

In a recent report the Complaints Commissioner expressed concern about the absence of published information about how and in what circumstances information about live ombudsman cases may be shared between the FOS and the FCA. The complaint alleged that the FCA illegally influenced the FOS in its handling of complaints against a firm represented by […]

FCA sets out supervision and enforcement approach

FCA has published a draft of its approach to enforcement and supervision. The documents follow its publication of its Mission, in which it committed to publishing a series of documents setting out how it carries out its main activities. The approach to supervision explains FCA’s commitment to being forward-looking and pre-emptive, focusing on firms’ cultures […]

Andrew Bailey speaks on transforming culture in financial services

The FCA has published a speech by Andrew Bailey, FCA Chief Executive, on transforming culture in financial services. Mr Bailey highlights the following issues: work on firm culture is an important priority for the FCA; essays in the FCA’s Discussion Paper on transforming culture in financial services indicate that culture is about encouraging and incentivising good things, […]

FCA speaks on affordability

Jonathan Davidson has spoken on getting affordability right in consumer credit. He said that as the UK consumer credit sector is growing, so are concerns about excessive debt. FCA does not consider the sector has yet reached levels of debt that are likely to be harmful to lenders. His focus was on harm to borrowers, […]

BSB publishes annual review

The Banking Standards Board has published its annual review.  Its key point is that, last year, it carried out the largest ever survey of behaviours, competence and culture in UK banking. It noted that the scores to its 36 questions improved in comparison with the previous year for 25 of the questions, and declined for […]

FCA updates on motor finance

FCA has updated on its work reviewing the motor finance sector. So far, it has drawn several comforting conclusions, including around general default rates. But the 3% of customers who have the lowest credit ratings have higher arrears and default rates. It also notes that commission arrangements could lead to dealers arranging more expensive than […]

FCA outlines approach to authorisation

Sarah Rapson has spoken of FCA’s approach to authorising firms. She focused on FCA’s use of authorisation as a way to prevent harm, and its focus on using it proportionately. As a result, the information it asks firms for, and the degree of scrutiny it gives it, has to be linked to its assessment of […]

FCA looks back on past 5 years

John Griffith-Jones has reflected on FCA’s first 5 years of operation, since it took over from the FSA.  He outlined: highlights – specifying FCA’s engagement with pension exit charges, general insurance renewals, interest-only mortgage work, FX and LIBOR issues and reform, MiFID 2 implementation, the Innovation Hub, market abuse enforcement, fixing PPI, the asset management […]

FCA Discussion Paper on transforming culture in financial services

As part of its ongoing work on culture and governance, the FCA has published a discussion paper, comprising a series of essays from academics and industry thought leaders covering: what a ‘good’ culture might look like; the role of regulation and regulators; how firms might go beyond incentives; and how to change behaviour for the […]

FCA surveys firms passporting into UK

As part of its preparation for Brexit, the Government announced in December 2017 that it would, if necessary, introduce legislation to enable a ‘temporary permission’ scheme for EEA firms and funds which, following Brexit, can no longer rely on their passporting rights to do business in the UK. The FCA has published a survey to […]

FCA writes to CEOs on second charges and responsible lending

FCA has written a Dear CEO letter to firms that enter into regulated second charge mortgage contracts, asking them to review their lending processes and confirm to FCA that the firm is acting responsibly when lending and has systems, processes and controls to ensure this. FCA is worried, following a review it carried out to […]

FCA updates on consumer credit landscape

Andrew Bailey has spoken to the FLA on the current consumer credit landscape. He noted the constant fall in the real cost of debt which has supported the rise in household borrowing, and the growth in consumer credit particularly among the young. FCA has carried out several pieces of research to determine who is driving the growth […]

The FCA fines Vanquis £1,976,000 for failure to disclose full price of an add-on product

The FCA has fined credit card lender, Vanquis, £1,976,000 and ordered it to pay compensation to customers for failing to disclose the full price of an add-on product called Repayment Option Plan. In particular, the FCA found that Vanquis breached Principle 6 (Customers’ interests) and Principle 7 (Communications with clients) of the FCA’s Principles for […]

FCA publishes its final policy statement on new rules for the credit card market

Following a comprehensive study of the credit card market, the FCA has published its final policy statement on new rules for the credit card market. The new rules aim to provide more protection for credit card customers in persistent debt or at the risk of financial difficulty. Firms will be required to take series of […]

FCA updates on service standards

FCA’s new-look update on its service standards shows that it met most of its targets for various regulatory tasks, including authorisations, passport notifications, dealing with queries and customer satisfaction. However, it did fall slightly short on some applications, particularly consumer-credit related ones, and some of its work on passports.

FCA explains perimeter to Treasury Committee

Andrew Bailey has written to the Treasury Select Committee setting out a summary of the powers “FCA does not have”. It has been asked many questions in the context of the RBS GRG investigation. The letter sets out: FCA’s basic remit over regulated activities and its role as the UKLA as well as its powers […]

FCA review of Board Effectiveness

The FCA has published a report of the independent review into the effectiveness of its Board. The review was undertaken by Independent Audit Limited. The review involved interviews with Board members, a review of documentation and observance of Board and committee meetings. The report also sets out the following broad themes: aligning of activities into […]

FCA updates on high-cost credit sector

Following a Feedback Statement in which FCA identified key areas of concern in the high-cost credit sector, it has published an update on the work undertaken since the July 2017 publication. This presents an emerging picture for intervention in some markets, but equally a limitation on what can be achieved through traditional regulatory intervention. The […]

FCA consults on widening FOS access for small businesses

FCA has opened a consultation on plans to provide more small businesses with access to FOS. The changes proposed would allow FOS complaints redress to approximately 16,000 SMEs, charities and trusts, by changing the eligibility criteria to access FOS. Under the proposals, eligible businesses would be those that satisfy the following criteria: Under 50 employees; […]

FSCS PUBLISHES PLAN AND BUDGET FOR 2018/2019

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has published its Plan and Budget for 2018/2019. The Plan and Budget outlines the FSCS’s expected management costs and initial levy forecasts financial services firms will pay next year. The FSCS expects to levy the industry £336m, for the nine months to 31 March 2019, up from £320m in […]

The PRA’s “Dear Chair” letter on consumer credit

On 17 January 2018, the PRA published a “Dear Chair letter” following a review on consumer credit lending (covering credit cards, personal loans and motor finance) and the publication of its statement on consumer credit in July 2017. The letter communicates the PRA’s key findings from the review and sets out points for firms to […]

FCA INSIGHT ARTICLE: Who is driving consumer credit growth?

The FCA has published an Insight article that considers who is driving consumer credit growth. Although regulators have relied upon aggregate data from larger lenders to monitor which lenders are driving credit growth, there are important gaps. For example, they do not include less-mainstream products that people with low incomes often rely on; and do not […]

Charles Randell becomes new FCA and PSR chair

Charles Randell CBE has been appointed the new chair of FCA and the PSR with effect from 1 April.

ESMA consults on draft Securitisation Regulation technical standards

The European Securities and Markets Authority has published three consultation papers on draft technical standards implementing the Securitisation Regulation that is expected to be published by the end of this year. The matters addressed by the draft technical standards include requirements for the content and format of underlying exposures and investor report templates, and operational […]

Treasury, FCA and EIOPA issue statements regarding continuity of activities and services after Brexit

Along with the PRA’s publication of consultation papers on its intended approach to supervision of third country firms, the Treasury, FCA and ESMA have recently issued statements providing an update on provision to enable firms across Europe to continue to do business after Brexit. The Treasury has announced that if necessary (ie depending on the […]

Digital comparison tools: government responds to CMA market study

Earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the results of a market study into the use of digital comparison tools in a number of sectors, including car insurance, home insurance and credit cards. The findings of the market study included strong concern about the use of ‘most favoured nation’ clauses, which can […]

Payment Services Regulator requires change to Direct Debit rules regarding switching Facilities Management providers

The Payment Services Regulator (PSR) has published its decision to require the operator of the Bacs payment system, of which the Direct Debit scheme is a part, to change its rules to help clients switch Facilities Management (FM) service providers. Direct Debit FM service providers enable organisations which aren’t specifically approved or sponsored as Bacs […]

Law Commission to address electronic signatures and smart contracts in 13th Programme of Law Reform

The Law Commission has announced the programme of reforms it will be working on over the next 3 years.  The projects include: Electronic signatures: there is an absence of explicit case law or legislation confirming that documents executed with an electronic signature satisfy statutory requirements for documents to be in writing and/or signed and/or under […]

FCA updates on persistent debt

FCA has updated its consultation paper on its proposals for rules to help customers in persistent credit card debt. The revised proposals follow feedback on its April consultation. Respondents were in favour of FCA’s proposals in principle and it has now done a new analysis of the costs to business of its remedies – the […]

FCA sets out future approach to authorisation and competition

FCA has outlined its approach to authorisation and to competition. It notes it is one of the few financial regulators in the world with an objective that includes promoting competition. It wants to understand, in relation to authorisations: whether applicants clearly understand how to meet the Threshold Conditions – and, if not, how FCA could […]

FCA CLOSES CONSULTATION ON persistent debt and earlier intervention remedies

The FCA has updated its webpage on its consultation on persistent debt and earlier intervention remedies (CP17/10). Now that the consultation has closed, the FCA stated on its website that they are consulting on measures to address persistent credit card debt and require credit card firms to use their data to identify customers at risk of financial […]

FCA roundtables on high-cost credit

The FCA has issued a paper summarising the issues and ideas raised by participants in the FCA roundtables, held in September and October. The roundtables covered discussions on (i) alternatives to high-cost credit and (ii) the provision of essential goods. The following key themes emerged from the discussions: alternative lenders face challenges in accessing commercial capital at a […]

Up next from FCA

FCA’s latest Policy Development Update promises the following publications before the end of 2017: Policy Statement on formalisation of the debt concession for smaller credit unions Policy Statement on market infrastructure providers’ fee rates Policy Statement on the second consultation on FAMR implementation Policy Statement on the second IDD implementation consultation (with a PS on […]

Financial Stability Report, November 2017

The Bank of England (BoE) has published its financial stability report, issue number 42.  The report sets out the Financial Policy Committee’s (FPC), a sub-committee of the BoE’s Court of Directors, views of the outlook for UK financial stability, including the assessment of the resilience of the UK financial system and the main risks to […]

Law Commission finalises Goods Mortgages Bill

The Law Commission has published its final report on the Goods Mortgages Bill. This marks the end of a project that started in 2014, aimed at addressing the problems the outdated Bills of Sale Acts cause for borrowers, purchasers and lenders engaging in logbook loans. The particular problems the new Bill seeks to address are: […]

Autumn Budget 2017: Key points for the financial services sector

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has delivered the Autumn Budget 2017. Key points for the financial services sector include: Asset management – the Government will publish a new long-term strategy to ensure that the UK asset management industry continues to thrive and deliver the best possible outcomes for investors and the UK economy. This will […]

FCA consults on fees

FCA has published its annual consultation paper on regulatory fees and levies. Key proposals include: the proposed tariff data FCA will use to calculate insurers’ FCA periodic fees and the FOS levies, building on PRA’s proposals; updating its financial penalty scheme; and how to treat consumer hire agreements in relation to credit-related income. FCA also […]

Financial Exclusion: UK government publishes response to Lords Select Committee final report

Following the appointment in 2016 by the House of Lords of a Select Committee to investigate financial exclusion and access to mainstream financial services, the Committee published its final report, ‘Tackling Financial Exclusion: A Country that works for everyone‘ in March 2017 (Report).  This Report made 22 recommendations to address financial exclusion and access, including […]

Treasury Committee inquiry into household finances

On 8 November, the Treasury Committee announced the launch of a new inquiry that will examine problematic indebtedness, inter-generational issues, lifetime financial planning and the effectiveness of the market in financing solutions and products to low income households. The Chair of the Treasury Committee, Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan, indicated that the scope will include: what […]

The Supreme Court grants Deutsche Bahn AG permission to appeal against a Court of Appeal judgment concerning interchange fees

The Supreme Court (SC) today announced that permission to appeal has been granted to Deutsche Bahn AG (and other retailers) against the Court of Appeal’s judgment upholding an appeal by MasterCard against a judgment of the High Court, relating to interchange fees. This follows an action in the High Court brought by Deutsche Bahn (and various retailers) […]

FCA’s future approach to consumers

The FCA has today published its Approach to Consumers paper, which is intended to explore the FCA’s approach to regulating retail consumers. The paper follows the publication of the FCA’s Mission Statement in April 2017, which explained how and why the FCA prioritise, protect and intervene in financial markets. It is the first of a number […]

Interest Rate rises for the first time in 10 years

For the first time in more than 10 years the Bank of England (BoE) has raised interest rates. At its meeting on 1 November, the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 7-2 to increase the official bank rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. Although households will face higher mortgage interest payments after the […]

FCA bans firm for failure to comply with FOS award

FCA has cancelled the permission of Foreman Financial Services Limited for failure to remain fit and proper and specifically for breach of DISP rules and Principles 6 and 11. The firm had advised a customer to transfer his pension into a SIPP to fund a property investment. The customer complained to FOS that the firm […]

FCA consults on FSCS funding

Following its December 2016 consultation for views on how FSCS funding could be reformed, FCA has published a further consultation paper seeking to ensure FSCS continues to provide the right protections, works effectively and is funded fairly. Proposals under consultation include: Merging the Life and Pensions and Investment Intermediation funding classes; Requiring product providers to […]

New FCA webpage on reporting consumer credit income

The FCA has published a new webpage setting out what consumer credit firms need to report in relation to their consumer credit income. The FCA charges consumer credit firms annual fees based on the data in forms CCR002 or CCR007. The webpage outlines what firms need to report to ensure that they are charged the […]

FCA updates on retail banking model review

FCA has published a paper on the purpose and scope of its review of the business models used in the retail banking sector. It is now considering what evidence it can best gather to understand: the state of competition and conduct in the markets; how free-if-in-credit banking is paid for and its effects on different […]

HM Treasury’s Call for Evidence to tackle problem debt

On 24 October 2017, HM Treasury published a Call for Evidence to implement a breathing space scheme so that someone in serious problem debt may apply for legal protection from further interest, charges and enforcement action for a period of up to six weeks. The Call of Evidence follows the government’s commitment to encourage consumers to […]

FCA begins debt management sector review

In line with its 2017/18 Business Plan, FCA has begun its thematic review of the debt management sector. FCA has taken a particular interest in this sector, owing to the increased risks faced by (particularly vulnerable) consumers where firms fail to meet their needs. In 2014, FCA declared that debt management firms needed to “raise their game” if they […]

FCA’s first Financial Lives Survey: 50% of UK adults potentially vulnerable

After collecting responses from over 13,000 UK consumers, FCA has revealed the results of its largest tracking survey of consumer behaviour and use of retail financial products and services. Aiming to tell the financial story for six age demographics (and key themes of each life stage), the survey found that 50% of the adult population shows one […]

The Consumer Protection Partnership Update Report for 2017

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a report by the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP), identifying and prioritising areas where there is greatest harm caused to consumers and setting out the actions taken by the members of the CPP. In 2016 the CPP identified scam calls, digital and online markets, secondary ticketing, and consumer […]

Up next from FCA

FCA’s latest Policy Developments Update lists several key publications due before the end of the year: policy proposals for next year’s fees and levies policy statement on FSCS funding policy statement on the second part of FAMR implementation policy statement on the second IDD implementation consultation (in December, with the policy statement on the third […]

FCA speaks on challenges of ageing population

Andrew Bailey, speaking at Mansion house, looked at some of the challenges FCA faces as financial conduct regulator. He focussed particularly on: consumer credit – particularly on its rapid growth and the role of high-cost credit. He explained what FCA is doing to help those with persistent credit card debt and how it is trying […]

FPC updates on stability

FPC has reviewed developments since its last meeting on 21 June and assess the outlook for UK financial stability. Its conclusion was that ‘overall risks to UK financial stability from the domestic environment are broadly unchanged at a standard level’, though risks of greater vulnerabilities may loom on the horizon. The headline statements were as follows: internationally, market […]

Law Commission publishes draft Goods Mortgages Bill

Following a 2016 report in which the Law Commission concluded that the Bills of Sale Acts should be repealed and replaced with legislation less burdensome to lenders and more protective of borrowers,  and its consultation over the summer on draft clauses for new legislation, the draft Goods Mortgages Bill has now been published. Currently governed […]

Update from the Bank of England and The Payment Systems Regulator on new payment systems operator

In a joint press release issued today, the Bank of England (BoE) and The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) announced that a New Payment Systems Operator (NPSO) had been created by the Payment System Operator Delivery Group (PSODG) who were charged with this task. The creation of the NPSO forms part of the PSR and BoE’s plan for consolidating […]

FCA unhappy with consumer credit complaints handling – asks firms to take action

In a Dear CEO Letter, the FCA explains that it recently undertook a review of how consumer credit firms approach and deal with customer complaints. FCA reviewed data, final response letters and website information on complaints from a range of consumer credit firms. FCA found examples of good practice to the benefit of consumers but also found material non-compliance […]

FOS updates complaints data

FOS has published individual complaints data for H1 2017, relating to businesses in relation to which FOS both received and settled at least 30 cases during the period. FOS says these firms comprise around 95% of the total cases it handled. The highest levels of complaint related almost entirely to PPI claims, with the only other significant […]

FCA launches PPI campaign with help from ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’

The FCA has today launched its PPI campaign with a television advert in order to raise awareness of the two year deadline to make a complaint about payment protection insurance. The deadline, which has been introduced by the FCA in order to prompt people to check whether they had PPI and whether they want to make a complaint, ends […]

MoJ publishes Plevin guidance for CMCs

The Ministry of Justice has published guidance for claims management companies when they handle cases relating to Plevin. The guidance mainly explains what FCA’s expectations are and stresses that CMCs must not mislead clients about likely levels of redress. It also cautions against referring complaints to FOS without properly engaging with the relevant financial business […]

FCA Regulation round – up for August

This month’s edition of Regulation round-up discusses: the consultation to extend SM&CR to all financial services firms; the Threshold Conditions Team taking enforcement action and cancelling the authorisations of 207 firms; FCA’s agenda and priorities for consumer credit; contingency planning for firms that do not have their MIFID II permissions in place by 3 January […]

FCA sets out its supervisory approach to PPI

The FCA has today announced that it will soon be launching a campaign to inform people of the 29 August 2019 deadline for making a complaint about PPI.  The campaign will contribute to the regulatory and supervisory work the FCA has already done around PPI and will continue to do. The campaign, which will be […]

Rise in complaints for PPI

This week FOS published its regular newsletter in which it discussed: a rise in consumer credit complaints; statistics on complaints received in the first quarter of 2017/2018; and an update on PPI and the FCA’s new rules and guidance FOS’ Annual Review The annual review published earlier in the summer by FOS identified that complaints about […]

ASA unhappy at Amex ad

ASA has found a TV advert for American Express breached the BCAP rules on misleading advertising, qualification and exaggeration.  On the ad, a voiceover claimed that “there is a card that could give you 5% cashback on all purchases”. In fact, this amount was available only for the first 3 months, was subject to a […]

eba publishes fintech discussion paper

The European Banking Authority has published a Discussion Paper on its approach to financial technology (FinTech). The EBA sets out in the Discussion Paper the results of the first EU-wide FinTech mapping exercise and its proposals for future work on FinTech. To gain a better understanding of current FinTech activity in the EU, in spring 2017, […]

FCA consults on FAMR: implementation Part II and insistent clients

The FCA has today published its consultation paper (CP17/28) on implementing two of the recommendations made in the final report of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), which was published in March 2016. FAMR was launched in 2015 by the FCA and HM Treasury (HMT) as a result of concerns that the market for financial advice in the […]

FCA feeds back on high cost credit

FCA’s response to its call for input into its review of high cost credit has concluded it will keep the HCSTC cap at its current level, but review it again within the next 3 years.  It has found an improvement in consumer outcomes since it imposed the cap, and a practice developing of offering longer […]

FCA updates on motor finance work

FCA has published further details of what it is doing to identify potential consumer harm in the motor finance market. It notes most new car finance is in the form of a Personal Contract Purchase, which is a form of hire purchase under which the value of the car at the end of the contract […]

FCA to consider whether there is a place for unarranged overdrafts in the modern banking market

In a Feedback Statement published today, the FCA stated that: they have significant concerns about how unarranged overdrafts operate. Charges are high, complex and potentially harmful. Based on the evidence they have to date, they believe there is a case to consider fundamental reform of unarranged overdrafts and consider whether they should have a place in any modern […]

FCA foresees the demise of LIBOR in favour of SONIA

Andrew Bailey’s speech today on the future of LIBOR discussed the recent developments that had been made and interestingly, the decision to move away from the benchmark and towards one that is based on factors such as the price of term funding. The FCA has had conversations with market participants, which led it to examine  alternative benchmarks and make […]

Alex Brazier, Executive Director of BoE delivers a speech entitled: ‘Debt Strikes Back’ or ‘The Return of the Regulator’?

Alex Brazier, Executive Director (Financial Stability) at BoE has delivered a speech in which he considers the recent developments in household debt, how that debt can pose dangers to the wider economy, and the three lines of defence put in place by regulators to guard against those dangers. Mr Brazier observed that in the past […]

FCA publishes consultation paper on current account services

FCA has published a Consultation Paper (CP) on the information provided to customers about current account services. The CP was prompted by CMA’s recommendation that firms should publish objective measures of service performance for both personal current accounts (PCAs) and business current accounts (BCAs) to allow customers to effectively compare products on the market. The […]

FCA releases details of consultations on the extension of SM&CR to all firms

The long-awaited consultations on the extension of the SM&CR have been released: CP17/25 – Individual accountability – extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to all FCA firms. Banks are told to read Chapters 9 and 10 in the CP about the extra SM&CR regulations that will affect the banking sector. CP17/26 – Individual accountability – extending […]

Law Commission consults on draft clauses for the Goods Mortgages Bill

This month, the Law Commission published a consultation paper on draft clauses that would form part of the new Goods Mortgages Bill, which replaces the Bills of Sale. Background In September 2014, HM Treasury asked the Law Commission (LC) to review the Bills of Sales Act.  The LC’s 2016 report recommended that the Bills of […]

FCA makes new rules

At FCA’s July Board meeting it made several new rulebook instruments. Key changes are: to make minor changes to approved persons application forms with effect from 12 September; to set the fees payable to the PSR from 21 July; to amend COBS in respect of pension projections from 24 July so firms can prepare risk […]

ICO fines Moneysupermarket.com £80,000

ICO has fined Moneysupermarket.com Ltd £80,000 for sending 7.1 million unsolicited direct marketing emails over a period of ten days to update its customers on its Terms and Conditions. Crucially all the recipients of the emails had previously opted out of direct marketing, and Moneysupermarket sent the T&Cs by email which included a section noting the […]

UK Finance publishes updated Access to Banking Standards

UK Finance (the new industry association including, among others, the BBA) has updated its Access to Banking Standards in relation to bank branch closures. It is hoped that these changes will help banks provide customers with clear, understandable, accessible documentation and information about that specific closure and how they can continue to bank after the branch has closed […]

Government to outlaw payment surcharging

The Government’s approach is set out in their response to its consultation on the implementation of PSD2. Taking into account the range of views received through the consultation, the Government has decided to extend the surcharging ban to all retail payment instruments. This will create a level playing field between payment instruments and create a […]

HMT responds to its PSD2 consultation – Third Party Access

On 9 February 2017, the government published a consultation document, ‘Implementation of the revised EU Payment Services Directive II’, as well as draft legislation. The consultation invited responses on the government’s proposed approach to transposing PSD2 into UK law. The government received over 85 formal responses to the consultation. This response document summarises the content of these […]

FCA publishes thematic review on customer understanding of retailing banking products

On 17 July FCA published a thematic review on customers’ understanding of retail banking products. The review was undertaken amid growing concerns that some customers fail to understand the key features of many financial products and that this may expose them to harm. The review covered 18 firms, and involved FCA looking at the firms’ data […]

FSCS annual report and accounts 2016/17: compensation costs total £375m

FSCS has published its annual report and accounts and annual report and class statements 2016/17, which set out its vision and strategy. The publications detail that FSCS paid out for over 37,000 claims 2016/17 in the sum of £375m. The £375m included: £52m for policyholders affected by the failures of Enterprise Insurance Company PLC and […]

LSB publishes ”2020 Vision” Business Plan

The Lending Standards Board has published its Business Plan for 2017/20 which outlines its aims and objectives for the next three years. LSB says it will achieve its goals by focusing on the following activities: Developing the Standards which were launched in March 2017 (July 2016 for business customers) by working alongside firms and the wider […]

FCA publishes annual report

FCA’s Annual Report and accounts for 2016/17 sets out its highlights from the past year, and includes specific sectoral reports for competition, enforcement, AML and diversity. FCA regards the year’s highlights as: its asset management market study its PPI work, leading up to proposals for a time limit on claims MIFID 2 and MAR implementation […]

Treasury publishes financial guidance responses

Treasury has published the responses it received to its consultation on creating a single financial guidance body. The new body has now been legislated for under the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill and will: be a non-departmental body sponsored by DWP to replace the MAS, TPAS and Pension Wide provide money guidance, and pensions guidance […]

PRA concerned over consumer credit lending

PRA has carried out a review of consumer credit lending, looking at asset quality of PRA-regulated firms and their lending practices in respect of credit cards, unsecured personal loans and motor finance. PRA is concerned that interest margins have fallen as a result of rapid growth in consumer credit, and that some aspects of underwriting […]

FCA consults on consumer credit staff incentives

FCA is consulting on how consumer credit firms should manage the risks inherent in staff remuneration and performance management.  It has previously issued guidance covering firms in different sectors within SYSC 19, but there is no current equivalent for consumer credit firms. FCA has carried out a thematic review of 98 firms and found evidence of […]

EBA publishes consumer data usage report

EBA has published a report following its recent observations that a growing number of financial institutions use consumer data in innovative ways, often combining internally held data with data gathered from external sources such as social media. The report follows EBA’s discussion paper on the issue, in which participants were invited to comment on the […]

Creditworthiness Assessment Bill starts parliamentary process

The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill is making its way through Parliament. The Bill requires certain matters to be taken into account when assessing a borrower’s creditworthiness by mandating that FCA rules oblige firms carrying on credit or home purchase related activities to take into account rental and council tax payment history.

WFE encouraged by Commission consultation on FinTech

The World Federation of Exchanges said it was encouraged by the Commission’s consultation on FinTech as it believed that it was important to get policy right in this area to avoid the rush to regulate. These comments came following the WFE’s response to the Commission’s consultation document “FinTech:  a more competitive and innovative European financial sector”, which was published […]

FCA speaks on retail banking regulation

Andrew Bailey has spoken at BBA’s retail banking conference on FCA’s perspective on retail banking. He highlighted 3 points: the importance of understanding business models, in the light of Northern Rock. FCA needs to understand where banks earn their returns and how stable they are. He noted that, before the financial crisis, the pressure was […]

BoE publishes Financial Stability Report

BoE has published Financial Stability Report no. 41  which sets out the views of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC)  on the current financial stability of the UK, including an assessment of the risks to, and resilience of, the UK financial system and its recommendations to reduce those risks. The FPC has assessed the overall risks in […]