Policy and Government
At CAP we don’t want to just treat the symptoms of poverty; we also want to address the causes. That’s why we’re working tirelessly behind the scenes to shape and influence the policies that affect our clients. It means we get to speak on behalf of the vulnerable to the people with the power to change their lives. And our voice is growing louder.
Industry professionals seek our opinion on current issues, and our recommendations get heard in Parliament. Change is happening. Below are some of the ways in which we are fighting for justice amongst the country’s key decision-makers.
18 January 2017
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates that 750,000 mortgage customers have been impacted by automatic capitalisation - when arrears are included in contractual monthly installment (CMI) calculations but also pursued separately through a collections process. This results in customers effectively making overpayments and could have caused problems where this was unaffordable. The FCA have issued guidance which we welcome to address this issue and compensate those that have been affected. We have responded to stress the importance of communicating this complex issue well and suggested stronger guidance where possession orders (POs) have not been exercised. Read our full response below.Read the full document here
22 December 2016
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently put out a draft order for consultation about the retail banking market. We were able to provide feedback on the personal current account (PCA) section. On the whole we welcomed the remedies set out in the draft, but recommended that the remedies and resources should be proportionately targeted at those who stand to gain the most. We also welcomed the obligation to publish service quality indicators and the new requirements around information. The overdraft alert remedy was particularly welcome, helping people avoid high charges for unarranged overdrafts and were able to express how the Maximum Monthly Charge remedy could be improved. Read our full response below.Read the full document here
13 December 2016
Yesterday CAP launched The freedom report in the House of Commons, alongside the Financial Inclusion Commission, hosted by George Kerevan MP (member of the Treasure Select Committee). It was an event not to be missed, attended by over fifty senior representatives from the Credit and Debt Advice Industries and MPs. Speakers included Sian Williams, Commissioner and Head of National Services at Toynebee Hall, and Caroline Rookes CBE, CEO of the Money Advice Service (MAS). The event celebrated the results of the report, in that 93% of clients remained free of problem debt, and discussed wider lessons for the industry as a whole.
12 December 2016
Today CAP releases a new report: The freedom report. This looks at the outcomes of over 200 clients who have become debt free through Debt Management Plans (DMPs) and Debt Relief Orders (DROs) up to five years ago. The findings show the important role debt advice plays in building financial capability and resilience to ensure people feel in control of their finances and stay free of problem debt in the long-term. 93% remain free of problem debt, with 82% still using a budget. An incredible 69% of the DMP sample also had savings, which is 28% higher than the UK national average savings rate of 41%. The report shows that through CAP’s debt advice, financial capability skills – such as budgeting and saving – are gained and financial resilience is often built as a result. The report compares the outcomes of DMP and DRO clients, and the experiences of the handful who were struggling with repeat problem debt. Find out more and download the report here.
25 November 2016
CAP recently submitted a consultation response to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about the revised proposal on guarantor loans. Guarantor lending is high-risk for consumers, as it is lending secured on relationships. In this response we welcomed the proposed guidance, which ensures guarantors are appropriately notified where there is a breach of agreement. The revised proposal created opportunities for increased communication with guarantors, for instance notifying them as soon as payment problems present themselves. We also stated how important it is to fully inform guarantors of the risks and the meaning of the term default. To read the full response click below.Read the full document here