The annual Business Plan gives details of the specific areas of work the FCA is prioritising for the next year. These priorities are based on a combination of the intelligence gathered through the Sector Views and the FCA’s intervention framework. Key pieces of work identified in the Business Plan include:
- supporting UK Government to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
- launching a campaign to encourage consumers to make a decision about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) ahead of the August deadline.
- examining the issue of vulnerable consumers
- continuing work on high-cost credit
- considering the issue of long term savings and retirement outcomes
High-cost credit and overdrafts
We will continue to focus on highcost credit as it is a high-risk area that affects vulnerable consumers.
In November 2016 we issued a Call for Input, covering high cost products, overdrafts, the highcost short-term credit (HCSTC) price cap, and repeat and multiple HCSTC borrowing.
We will look at all high-cost products to build a full picture of how these are used, whether they cause harm
and, if so, to which consumers. We will then be able to decide if we need to intervene further. We will also review the overdraft market in detail following the CMA’s review, which identified problems in the market.
We will also review the price cap on HCSTC loans which came into force in January 2015. We will look for evidence on whether the cap should be changed, and the impact on consumers excluded from HCSTC because of the price cap. We will
publish our findings on the review of the payday cap in the summer of 2017.
Point of sale: Fees and charges
We are concerned that firms may impose inappropriate fees or costs on consumers or inappropriately sell credit at the point of entering into a transaction. We will explore whether the fees, charges or other costs paid by consumers are influenced by commission, or other remuneration, models operating between firms – such as lenders and brokers. We may also consider whether firms exploit a point of sale advantage to charge higher than normal fees, or to sell credit to consumers for purposes for which it may not be suitable.
Debt management sector review
We will continue to monitor the debt management sector to ensure that it is fit for purpose and that firms are treating their customers fairly, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances. This follow-up work will ensure that our standards are
being met and maintained.
We are concerned that there may be a lack of transparency, potential conflicts of interest and irresponsible lending in the motor finance industry. We will conduct an exploratory piece of work to identify who uses these products and assess
the sales processes, whether the products cause harm and the due diligence that firms undertake before providing motor finance.
Following the review we will assess whether and how to intervene in the market.
Credit card market study remedies review
Last year we published the final findings of our Credit Card Market Study. It found that many cardholders were in arrears, default or had persistent levels of credit card debt. We set out proposals for a set of remedies. As part of this we are currently consulting on proposed new rules designed to help consumers take control of their finances and avoid persistent debt and avoidable charges.
Once the remedies have been implemented, we will review their effectiveness and assess if we need to intervene further.
We will also continue to work closely with consumer groups and industry to deliver changes to help consumers gain more control over their finances.