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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.

Ofgem consultation ‘Ensuring the Standards of Conduct remain fit-for-purpose’

calendar24 July 2017

We have responded to Ofgem's final proposal for new Standards of Conduct for suppliers in the retail energy market. This consultation proposed to make the Standards simpler and more easily accessible, making amendments to the Fairness Test to focus on outcomes as well as adding a broad vulnerability principle. We remain in strong support of the vulnerabillity principle, which gives adequate attention to consumers in vulnerable situations. That being said, identifying vulnerability will present itself as a challenge for suppliers, as most in vulnerable situations do not self-identify. To read our full response click below.

Read the full document here

FCA remedies to help those with persistent credit card debt

calendar03 July 2017

30 million people have a credit card in the UK - that's 60% of the adult population. For the majority, a credit card is a useful credit product, but for an estimated 4.5 million who have persistent debt it is very costly and firms have little incentive to help them reduce this. In light of this, the FCA has proposed a new intervention that will rebalance incentives for both customers and firms to make an active choice to repay more quickly if they can afford to do so, and offer help to those who cannot. This is targeted at customers who have been in persistent debt for more than 18 months, which means they have paid more in interest and charges than in principal. CAP has responded to the FCA’s consultation to welcome this intervention but raise concerns that it will come too late for many in problem debt.

Read the full document here

New Client Report published

calendar14 June 2017

The latest CAP Client Report is now available to download. It brings together 1,217 responses from our annual client survey, alongside other CAP data. It explores the consequences of poverty, as well as the multiple complex needs that often come hand in hand with debt, unemployment or addiction. The report highlights the importance of partnership and exemplifies how creditors, referral agents, frontline staff and the local Church can all work with CAP to tackle poverty in the UK.

For the first time, the Client Report includes CAP Life Skills, CAP’s newest service. Run as a community group meeting each week, CAP Life Skills looks at the wider issues surrounding money management. This includes relationships, health and wellbeing and organisational skills. CAP Life Skills was officially launched in March 2017, after an 18-month pilot.

Read the report here.

Insight Day

calendar07 June 2017

Over 100 guests from the credit and energy industry, government bodies and referral agencies attended CAP's 2017 Insight Day to learn more about our broader approach to debt management. The day included CAP clients sharing their stories and breakout sessions to explore CAP's range of holistic services - it was a day not to be missed. Guests left with a better understanding of multiple complex needs and inspired by the work CAP does.

Tina Grainger from Argos said, 'CAP covers every single angle and that is what I love, they get people back into work, get people over addictions, support people through their mental health problems. Once clients are transferred over to CAP, they are in safe hands.'

CAP receives FCA authorisation

calendar01 June 2017

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has been granted full authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA took over from the Office of Fair Trading in 2014 and was given significant powers to regulate more than 50,000 consumer credit firms. Debt advice is a regulated activity and this authorisation allows CAP to continue to provide top-quality debt help to those burdened by debt across the UK.

As the news was announced, CAP’s CEO Matt Barlow said, ‘We fully support the FCA in its mission to ensure best practice in the industry on behalf of the consumer. It has long been our goal to offer the very best service to some of the most vulnerable in our society and therefore I’m delighted that the FCA has given us this official authorisation.’

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Previous reports:

Client report 2015 Client report 2014 Client report 2013

Introducing CAP's External Affairs team

Meet the team representing CAP and building relationships in the credit and debt advice industries, as well as the third sector and with the Government:

Dawn Stobart
Director of External Affairs

Helen Webb
External Affairs Manager

Rachel Gregory
External Affairs Analyst

Daniel Kelly
Creditor Relations Analyst

Kiri Saunders
External Affairs team

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