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.
New research by Standard Life Aberdeen has suggested that two-thirds of those retiring this year will run out of money before they die.
New research by wealth management and stockbroking firm Charles Schwab UK has suggested that younger investors are much more likely to favour cryptocurrencies over equities when it comes to investing their money.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority, spoke on March 31 this year about ‘Compliance, Culture and Evolving Regulatory Expectations.’
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.
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.
Charles Randell, the regulator’s chairman, explained some of the key areas of focus for the Financial Conduct Authority when he gave a recent speech to trade association the Finance and Leasing Association.
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.
Does your firm require assistance with reviewing your financial promotions? Could you benefit from any compliance support? If so, please contact Scott Robert on 0161 914 5727.
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.