Support for Work to End High Cost Credit
Tai Tarian and Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) have welcomed the latest report from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on its ongoing work to tackle the problem of high cost credit.
Following an in-depth review, the FCA is looking at consulting on a number of changes to reduce the costs for consumers and give greater control over their finances. This includes rent-to-own, door step lending, catalogue credit products and store cards.
It is also looking at ways of improving the help social housing landlords can provide to their tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties.
Tai Tarian has met with the FCA throughout the development of the report and has been able to feed in its views. The report specifically highlights the work of social housing providers, debt charities and others in the third sector.
Linda Whittaker, Chief Executive of Tai Tarian said, “As a social housing provider we witness the devastating effects of high cost credit providers on our tenants and the local community.
“This lending comes in many forms, rent to own, door step lending and catalogues, all of which have been mentioned by the FCA.
“We are pleased the FCA recognises that the harm identified to people by high cost credit is sufficient to consider a cap on ‘rent to own’ prices and will now carry out a detailed assessment of the impact that a cap could have on the rent to own market.
“We also welcome that they recognise the great work of social landlords in this area and their willingness to support their efforts to help those who are sometimes the most vulnerable in society.
“It is vitally important that we provide a fairer alternative to those who have limited options.”
The FCA will be undertaking work in relation to assessing a cap in the next few months with the aim of introducing the changes, if appropriate, to the ‘rent to own’ sector by April 2019.
Gaynor Richards MBE, Director of Neath Port Talbot CVS said, “We welcome the emphasis that the FCA gives to third sector organisations such as Credit Unions, Community Development Finance Institutions and Debt Advice Agencies. We would like to see an expansion of the sector. The third sector is best placed to work with vulnerable individuals because we have already built a trusted relationship and are well known in our local communities.”
The FCA’s independent work is running in parallel to the work of the End High Cost Credit Alliance of which Tai Tarian and Neath Port Talbot CVS are key members.
It was founded by Port Talbot actor and activist Michael Sheen and is aimed at tackling the unfair targeting of high cost credit to those who can least afford it.
The Alliance is made up of organisations across the UK who collaborate to raise the issues, gather intelligence and take action in key places like Port Talbot with a view to taking a systems change approach to the problems of high cost credit.
To read the FCA report please visit https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/consultation-papers/cp18-12-and-cp18-13-consultations-high-cost-credit-and-overdrafts