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StepChange Debt Charity response to FCA call for input on high-cost credit and overdrafts PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
In response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) call for input on high-cost credit and overdrafts, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said:  “Today’s announcement is a welcome one. High-cost short term credit (HCSTC) products are used by people who are often financially vulnerable. The cost and design of these products can trap people in cycles of repeat borrowing which deepens their financial difficulties. Every day our advisers see people who are damaged by these products.

“The review of payday loans is timely, and we think further FCA intervention is necessary to address the problems that still exist in the market, including lenders moving from traditional payday loans to instalment loans, the continued problems caused by people accessing multiple loans, and the poor treatment of customers. But let’s not forget that this market is selling to people who lack other options. The Government must support financially vulnerable through the provision of better alternatives to HCSTC.

“I welcome the fact that the FCA has now acknowledged that overdrafts can act as a form of high-cost credit, and this review gives the FCA an opportunity to examine the case for a cap on unarranged overdraft fees. The need for caps in other markets has already been accepted, as with payday loans and credit cards. There is ongoing consumer detriment from overdraft fees. Unnecessary delays in action risks further harm to financially vulnerable consumers."

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