Payday lenders and other high cost short term lenders will be the subject of an in-depth thematic review into the way they collect debts and manage borrowers in arrears and forbearance, the Financial Conduct Authority FCA announced today.The review will be one of the very first actions the FCA takes as regulator of consumer credit, which begins on 1 April 2014, and reinforces its commitment to protecting consumers – one of its statutory objectives.
It is just one part of FCA’s comprehensive and forward looking agenda for tackling poor practice in the high cost short term loan market.Martin Wheatley, FCA chief executive, said:“Our new rules mean that anybody taking out a payday loan will be treated much better than before. But that’s just part of the story; one in three loans go unpaid or are repaid late so we will be looking specifically at how firms treat customers struggling with repayments.“These are often the people that struggle to make ends meet day to day, so we would expect them to be treated with sensitivity, yet some of the practices we have seen don’t do this.“There will be no place in an FCA-regulated consumer credit market for payday lenders that only care about making a fast buck.”
via Consumer credit countdown – Review into debt collection practices of payday lenders starts on day one of FCA regulation – Financial Conduct Authority.
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An IT manager from Pontypridd has told how he’s having to sell his home after being pushed further into debt following a cold call from a Swansea call centre.
David Parry was rung late in 2012 by a Swansea firm called Claim Credit Services Ltd, operating under the name CCS Advice.
He was more than £20,000 in debt and says the company told him that they could wipe out some of his credit card debts.
David said: “The longer the conversation went on, the more plausible it sounded. They had a number of customers who had had their debt written off due to breaches in the Consumer Credit Act. And they were getting a high success rate of getting credit cards and loans written off.”
But first he had to pay their fee – an additional £3,800 added on to one of his cards. He says he was told the claim would take no more than four months, and he’d have his money back one way or another after that.
David said: “It scared the heck out of me to be honest, but If I could get one of my credit cards written off, just one, which was easily attainable from what they were saying, then I’d be in a much better position.”
The show’s available on iPlayer for the next 7 days
via CLAIM CREDIT SERVICES + DEBTS MADE SIMPLE / ex CONSORTIUM RECLAIM.
The OFT has today published an update on the market study into banking services for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including an announcement that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will complete the study as part of a wider examination of competition in retail banking.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been working closely with the OFT on the SME Banking market study, and will continue to do so with the CMA.
The OFT notes that some actions have been taken, or are currently planned, to respond to competition concerns in retail banking, including changes to the authorisation regime for new banks, the new Current Account Switching Service and proposals to increase the availability of credit information to help newer or smaller providers of finance to compete. The emerging analysis, which is on-going, suggests that, despite these and other positive developments, there may be competition concerns that:
The provision of business current accounts (BCAs) and business loans remains concentrated among a small number of major banks.
Barriers to entry and expansion may be contributing to newer or smaller providers finding it difficult to enter and expand their business across the core business banking products.
SMEs find it hard to differentiate between providers. There are low levels of shopping around and switching, and low awareness of alternative sources of finance.
via OFT update on SME banking market study – The Office of Fair Trading.
There are many vehicles for sale online through many different listing platforms. Autotrader, eBay, Gumtree, motors.co.uk, Parkers, Pistonheads to name only a few.
There are also an ever increasing number of vehicles being offered for sale FRAUDULENTLY!
If you fall victim to one of these scams it is extremely unlikely you will ever see your hard earned money again!
Victims are losing £1000′s each day netting the fraudsters £millions, in many cases to fund other crimes such as drug trafficing, human trafficing or terrorism.
DON’T LET YOURSELF BE THE NEXT VICTIM.
Never be afraid to walk away from a sale, you will always have the opportunity to find another vehicle that has been listed genuinely, even if it costs a little more at least you will know it is genuine.
Here are some of the main things to check when looking/buying online.
- Check the website you are viewing is genuine.
- Check Vehicle Details and status reports.
- Ask for copies of Documentation.
- Check the car’s value – if it’s too cheap – WALK AWAY!
- Delivery – have they ‘just moved abroad’, using a shipping company ??
- Holding accounts – ebay DO NOT OFFER Holding Accounts.
- NEVER, EVER pay by bank transfer or wire transfer.
- GO TO SEE/TEST DRIVE THE VEHICLE
Misleading websites that try and palm themselves off as legitimate Government services are to come under the spotlight from Trading Standards today as Consumer Minister Jenny Willott confirmed extra funding for them to help tackle these rogue traders.
The Minister has committed an additional £120,000 this financial year to National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) so they can investigate these websites. This money will help NTSB also tackle websites that exaggerate the nature of the services they provide or deliberately underplay that people can get them for free or at a lower cost from official sources.
The extra funding for NTSB will mean that they are better equipped to identify, investigate and take enforcement action against any misleading websites that pass themselves off as official Government services.
via News item – Trading Standards Institute.