CFA expresses concerns as information about Woolard Review panel emerges

 As more details of the review have been published, Jason Wassell CEO explained the CFA concerns:

“Having now seen the composition of the advisory panel, we are concerned that there is a lack of representation from the unsecured credit market itself. We had hoped that industry representatives from across the sector would allow for an informed Review.

“Alongside this, the terms of reference and the call for input are very broad so we have further concerns that the report will fail to explore the real issues facing the sector and its customers.

 “It is vital that this initiative seeks to understand the customer base. The Review should focus on the consumer and how they access modern credit. One of the issues to be discussed must be how the current system fails those who are underserved.

 “While we welcome the involvement of Malcolm Le May of Provident, it does seem that the banks are being asked to represent the benefits of consumer credit. But the unsecured credit market includes many small companies that fill the gap left by the banks. These firms are finding it extremely difficult to operate with tightening regulation and the impact of COVID-19.

“Without addressing these issues, we struggle to see how any recommendations made to the FCA Board could be effective.”

Notes:

  1. More details are starting to emerge about the Review of unsecured credit to be undertaken by Chris Woolard, that will report to the FCA Board.
  2. When initially announced, we cautiously welcomed the news but pointed out that the Review needed to address how credit is used in the modern economy. We also hoped it would explore how to create a sustainable, competitive market.
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