Citizens Advice sounds the alarm over vulnerable people signing up to BNPL arrangements

Citizens Advice has revealed its concerns over the number of people using ‘buy now pay later’ arrangements, especially those from vulnerable groups. Its research shows that 27% of UK adults have used a BNPL arrangement in the last 12 months, but this rises to 37% of disabled people and 45% of those with a mental health problem, as well as 45% of people in the 18 to 34 age group. Half of the customers in this younger age group said that they had unwittingly signed up to a BNPL arrangement when they never intended to do so. The average repayment under a BNPL arrangement is said to be £63 per month.


News round-up w/c April 26

The FCA has adopted a similar position regarding the proposed scheme of arrangement of a major doorstep lender to the stance it took when another one of these schemes was mooted by a guarantor lender a short time ago. Essentially, the regulator has made clear its concerns over the proposed scheme, but will not take action to block it, because the alternative of the firm pursuing an insolvency solution would mean that customers with complaints would receive an even smaller proportion of the amount they were owed by the company.


Financial recruitment agency reports massive improvement in the job market in first quarter

Recruitment consultancy BWD has reported that it has seen a remarkable recovery in financial services recruitment in recent months. It says that the numbers of interview invitations for candidates in its wealth management division have recovered to pre-pandemic levels. However, the number of job offers in the first quarter of 2021 was almost double that seen in the same period in 2020, even though the coronavirus pandemic did not really affect the UK significantly until close to the end of the first quarter of 2020.


Government announces compensation scheme for investors in failed mini-bond firm

The Government has launched a new compensation scheme for those customers of a failed mini-bond provider who were not eligible for redress from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. However, these customers will not receive full compensation, as they might have been hoping to get from the FSCS. Instead, they can expect to be compensated for 80% of their initial investment, up to a maximum of £68,000.


FCA censures firm for failing to monitor its ARs effectively

The Financial Conduct Authority has publicly censured a Lloyds of London wholesale insurance and re-insurance broker and has also reached an agreement with the firm under which the London-based firm will pay £399,902 to disadvantaged customers. Had it not been for the evidence showing that the firm was experiencing financial hardship, it would also have been fined £958,100, or £670,600 with the 30% discount for early settlement being applied.

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