Consumer finance new business grows by 19%

New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that consumer finance new business grew by 19% in March 2022 compared with the same month in 2021. In Q1 2022 overall, new business was 34% higher than in the same quarter in 2021. The credit card and personal loan sectors together reported…

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FPC proposes withdrawal of mortgage affordability recommendation

13th May 2022 Consumer Lending |

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has announced a proposal to withdraw its mortgage affordability recommendation. The current requirement requires mortgage lenders to assess affordability by applying an interest rate stress test to determine whether borrowers could still afford their mortgage payments if their mortgage rate were to increase by three per cent. In a statement,…

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PSR fines NatWest £1.82m for overcharging interchange fees on credit cards

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has taken action against National Westminster Bank Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, Ulster Bank Ltd and Coutts & Company for overcharging interchange fees on credit cards. The regulator’s action has made sure that those who were overcharged by the banks got their money back. The PSR has also fined…

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FCA warns lenders and brokers to stop using misleading terms in credit adverts

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is warning lenders and brokers to stop using misleading terms in their advertising or face regulatory action. The FCA says that the increased cost of living means that more people may take out loans. Marketing that does not give clear information and warnings about the potential consequences of borrowing puts…

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Bank of England raises interest rate to 1% – Industry reaction

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee has raised rates to 1%, the highest in 13 years. The Bank also warned that the cost of living crisis could push the economy into recession this year. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to raise the base rate from 0.75% to 1%. Three of the nine-strong…

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Klarna to start reporting customer debts to credit agencies

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) specialist, Klarna has announced that it will start reporting UK customer debts to credit agencies for the first time next month, in a move that could affect shoppers’ credit ratings from 2023. The move is understood to be the result of two years of talks with the credit reference companies…

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Two million mortgage borrowers face increase in payments of over £1,000 per year

New research by TotallyMoney has found that 2 million mortgage borrowers could face an average payment increase of over £1,000 per year. The research found that a 1% Bank of England (BoE) interest rate rise would increase mortgage payments by £99 per month or £1,188 per year for a 75% LTV mortgage on the average…

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Updates to scam prevention Code made to protect more customers

29th April 2022 Consumer Lending | #fraud

The Lending Standards Board (LSB) has published a series of updates to the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code (the CRM Code) to further strengthen what is the only set of protections of its kind for tackling Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. The three most significant updates to the Code will help improve customers’ understanding of how…

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Student loans eligibility requirements could reduce higher education opportunity for ethnic minorities and poorest

27th April 2022 Consumer Lending | #student loans

New IFS research has found that a blanket minimum eligibility requirement (MER) for access to student loans would be a highly imperfect way of improving student outcomes. It would increase the already large socio-economic gaps in higher education and would disproportionally affect ethnic minority students. The government recently announced a consultation on changes to the…

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Nearly half of bank branches have closed since 2015

26th April 2022 Consumer Lending | #access to cash

Research by consumer watchdog Which? has revealed that 4,685 bank branches have closed over the last seven years with a further 226 set to disappear by the end of year – accounting for almost half of the country’s network. According to the study, the elderly and those in rural areas who most relied on cash…

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CMA announces next steps on future oversight of Open Banking

28th March 2022 Consumer Lending | #open banking

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its recommendations for the future oversight and governance of Open Banking. The CMA’s recommendations will be taken into consideration in the design of a future entity to succeed the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE). The future entity would build on the significant progress made to date by…

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Seven in ten people feel overwhelmed by financial jargon

New research commissioned by the Post Office has found that seven in ten people are left feeling overwhelmed by the amount of jargon used around money and savings. Half admitted they did not understand personal loans, APR (Annual Percentage Rate), interest rates, tax codes, dividends, rebates or the stock market. Whilst just a fifth are…

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CMA criticises banks over Open Banking breaches

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has criticised Lloyds and Barclays for mistakes made when giving information to price comparison websites, potentially misleading customers and breaking open banking rules. The CMA outlined a number of instances where the two banks breached the 2017 Retail Banking Market Investigation Order in relation to open APIs. The CMA said both…

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