Publication of the Woolard Review into the unsecured credit market

Publication of the Woolard Review into the unsecured credit market

After our brief article covering the announcement of the Woolard review, lets take a look at what it means in more detail…

The FCA has published a review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market. The review was led by Christopher Woolard CBE, former interim Chief Executive of the FCA. The report sets out Woolard’s findings and a set of recommendations to make the market work well for consumers.
Woolard recommends that:

Unregulated buy-now-pay-later products should be brought under FCA regulation as a matter of urgency.
The expected greater demand for free debt advice means that the sector needs a long-term, fair funding settlement, and the market for individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) needs to be fixed.

The FCA’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic was quick and effective — it needs to maintain its response through the recovery and look at what elements of its approach should be retained.
The market still needs more alternatives to high-cost credit — there needs to be reform to the regulatory landscape for credit unions and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), mainstream lenders should be encouraged to do more, and there needs to be better understanding of the links between social policy and the demand for high-cost credit.

better credit information market could bring significant benefits and the FCA should complete its Credit Information Market Study.

Regulation of consumer credit needs to be focused on how products are used in the real world and what outcomes they deliver for consumers, looking at conduct through the lifetime of the product.
The FCA confirmed its support for those recommendations that are directed to the FCA, and these will be built into its business planning process.

PPL will bring you more information on any changes that may affect your business, particularly those that impact on firms offering buy-now-pay-later options to their customers.

The new fees system is being launched as part of an upgrade to FCA systems and to improve overall effectiveness and efficiency.