1 April, 2014
Following the release of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Consumer credit and consumers in vulnerable circumstances report, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said:
“We welcome today’s report which highlights the pressures and strains that financially vulnerable consumers face today. People in financial difficulty often face limited options like taking payday loans to cover the essentials of life. Vulnerable people need protections from harmful financial products and from firms that seek to profit from their misfortune. We will judge the new regime by whether it actually improves lenders’ behaviour.”
“No-one in financial difficulty should face the choice between taking out a payday loan which could make their situation far worse and essential bills going unpaid. It should never be the case that people who are trying to deal with their debts should be taken advantage of by unscrupulous debt-management firms who profit from their hardship and offer a poor service. Today marks the beginning of a new tougher regulatory regime for consumer credit, a regime that we are hopeful will deliver much needed protections for consumers. Bad practice is deeply ingrained and we need the FCA to show its teeth.
“With the prospect of rises in interest rates and the costs of essentials, action now is more important than ever”.