Swinson swings for payday pirates

27 06 2013

UK CONSUMER ISSUES

Consumer minister Jo Swinson has called a summit to investigate if greater regulation is needed to control payday lenders.

The industry is currently under the remit of the Office of Fair Trading, who is set to hand control over to the FCA next year. In March of this year the OFT proposed referring payday lenders to the Competition Commission believing there to be: ‘evidence of deep-rooted problems in how lenders compete with each other’.

They also accused lenders of:

  • lenders failing to conduct adequate assessments of affordability before lending or before rolling over loans
  • failing to explain adequately how payments will be collected
  • using aggressive debt collection practices
  • not treating borrowers in financial difficulty with forbearance.

Swinson has invited payday loan companies, financial regulators, debt charities to the meeting. Among the topics being discussed it is expected that the powers the FCA will have when they take over regulation next…

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Insurance ambiguity brought by new Act

19 06 2013

UK CONSUMER ISSUES

Insurers are being advised to make sure they are up to speed on the Consumer Insurance Act (CIA) which came into effect earlier this month.

The CIA is a big boost for consumers as they are no longer duty bound to disclose everything relevant about their application.  The onus will now be on insurers and brokers to ask the right questions, though claims will still be forfeit if it is found the claimant deliberately withheld information.

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There have been a few voices raised in concern about the ambiguity the CIA has brought between insurers and brokers. Martin Oliver, chief executive of brokers A&A Group, says that insurers are not being clear with brokers as to what is expected of them. “I can only remember seeing one document on this issue from an insurer as to what they expect to see. The activity around this has been patchy but these…

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Consumer rights bill marches on

15 06 2013

UK CONSUMER ISSUES

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The new consumer rights bill continues to work its way into the law of the land and this week consumer minister Jo Swinson has outlined some of the measures to be included. The aim is to streamline eight rather complicated pieces of legislation into one, while doing more to include online downloads and streaming services.

Swinson said: “For too long the rules that apply when buying goods and services have been murky for both consumers and businesses. The situation is even worse in relation to digital content. It is about time consumers knew what their rights are and businesses had clearer information on what is expected of them when problems inevitably do arise. That is why we have put clarity and fairness at the heart of the proposed consumer bill of rights.”

Among the more important points are the measures being made to clear up any ambiguity in the…

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7 06 2011

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The view from the other side

27 04 2011

In the interests of objectivity and balance here’s a anti-paywall rant.





test

25 03 2011

Click Here





Live Blogs

22 03 2011

I’ve tried my hand at the rather hectic skill of live blogging recently. I limited myself to sport but it’s interesting to see how news stories can be reported using this.

Have a look at The Guardian’s coverage of Libya, They seem to be the field leaders in the UK. On the subject of football Sky Sports have a huge dedication to covering football matches in their pop out Score Centre.

This will give you an example of how it’s done in the US at the NYT. The downside to this form of media is that newest material is at the top. One must scroll through rather a lot of older stuff and choose what point they want to start reading.

Andrew Sparrow is one of the up and coming in this medium. His political live blog is interesting to read as he is pulling in information from all over Westminster to report issues as they happen.