Campaigners Call for a Credit Industry Clean-Up; PERSONAL FINANCE

The Birmingham Post (England), September 11, 2014 | Go to article overview

Campaigners Call for a Credit Industry Clean-Up; PERSONAL FINANCE


Byline: Graeme Brown

CONSUMER body Which? has called for greater "transparency, fairness and clarity" across the UK's PS158 billion credit market. The group called on City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to clean up an industry it claims is littered with misleading and unclear information, irresponsible lending practices and a failure to explain risks. In a new report, called Credit Britain 2, Which? proposals include capping default fees for all credit products and withholding licences to operate from firms that rely on customers defaulting. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "The regulator has so far rightly focused on the unscrupulous practices of payday lenders; however, we have found problems across the whole of the credit market. "It's now more important than ever that all credit products are up to scratch, so consumers can more easily manage their borrowing. "The FCA must crack down on poor practices and help put consumers back in control of their credit, and lenders should step up and improve their products and practices."

Which? also wants a ban on the term "zero per cent" on credit products that charge an upfront fee, and an end to retailers automatically signing up customers to a credit account they have not actively applied for. Since the financial crisis UK households have paid down debt, cutting unsecured borrowing by PS50 billion since 2008 to PS158 billion.

But Which? …

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