The Lending News Bulletin: 18-31 August

Tania Guadalupe

People in the UK have £19 billion of household debt |Citizens Advice | 21.08.18

Aggregating its own and government data, Citizens Advice has calculated that the amount of household bill debt owed is nearly £19 billion. Household bill debt includes utility bill arrears, telecoms, rents arrears as well as fines, penalty notices, and compensation orders. The figure also includes council tax arrears. Citizens Advice has called for the government to commit to measuring and reporting on household bill debt in a similar way to the Bank of England’s monthly statistics on consumer and mortgage lending.

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It’s time for an independent bailiff regulator | Citizens Advice | 21.08.18

This call by Citizens Advice comes off the back of its latest research (mentioned in the article above). The UK’s household bill debts, of which Citizens Advice has calculated are worth £19 billion, are more aggressively collected than consumer credit debt. Citizens Advice has seen a 24% rise in bailiff-related problems since 2014. The organisation is involved in a campaign called Taking Control: the campaign for bailiff reform. It is asking those who have suffered at the hands of bailiff malpractice to submit their experiences.

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2.6m caught out by ‘hidden loan fees’ | Credit Connect | 22.08.18

Research by LiveLend suggests that ‘there is a serious issue with providers’ levels of transparency and clarity’ after it found that one in four people who took out a loan in the last five years were stung by extra costs they’d not noticed – that’s 2.6 million consumers. One example of this is early repayment fees which are charged by two thirds of provider. According to the article, 79% of people say these ‘hidden loan fees’ were not made clear at the point of sale.

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Government releases guidance for businesses in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit | Credit Strategy | 23.08.18

The framework, split across 25 technical notices, covers various sectors including finance. It warns that the cost of card payments between the UK and EU will “likely increase” and won’t be covered by a ban on surcharges. The government’s preparations warn that Britons living elsewhere in Europe could lose access to UK banking and pension services without EU action. Under the plans, each side’s legislative process and rulemaking would be autonomous, with individuals and businesses are answerable to their respective political and judicial frameworks.

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