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Citizens Advice responds to outcome of FCA’s high-cost credit review

This morning, the FCA published the outcome of their high-cost credit review.

In response, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The FCA’s willingness to cap rent-to-own credit is good news for the thousands of people who rely on it to cover essential items.

“It shows they’re prepared to be decisive, but that makes it even more disappointing that they haven’t extended these measures to the doorstep lending market, which 1.6 million people use to help make ends meet.

“The FCA should reconsider their decision not to consult on a cap in this market. If they fail to act to protect these consumers, the ball will be firmly in the government’s court. It must show it is genuine in its commitment to making markets work for everyone, and put pressure on the regulator or legislate to give people the protection they need.”

“The FCA must now deliver to put the cap on rent-to-own by April 2019. There will inevitably be push-back from the industry but it cannot fail the customers who desperately need to be protected by this cap.”

Background:

Of the estimated 30,000 people Citizens Advice helped with home credit debts in the last year:

  • Nearly half (48%) have a long-term health condition or disability. This is higher than for all debt clients (40%) and more than twice the rate amongst the general population (18%).
  • Only 32% are in employment. While lower than for Citizens Advice debt clients generally (40%), it is almost half that of the general population (62%).
  • Half of clients are in council tax arrears and 43% are behind on water bills
  • Clients with home credit debts have unsecured debt totalling nearly half (49%) of their annual income
  • 1 in 10 have more than £2,500 in home credit debt, and a third (34%) had outstanding debt on two or more home credit loans.

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