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24 March 2022

Speech by Brian Corr, Interim Director of Retail Lending at the FCA, delivered at Credit Summit 2022, on 23 March 2022.

Speaker: Brian Corr, Interim Director of Retail Lending
Location: Credit Summit 2022, QEII Centre, London
Delivered on: 23 March 2022
Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version

Highlights

  • Consumers are facing increasing financial pressure – credit matters greatly for consumers and can help them to cope, but also has significant potential for harm
  • We’re focusing closely on delivering the right outcomes for consumers who use credit products, and we want firms to do the same – the new Consumer Duty will play a big part in this
  • Ensuring that borrowers get the right help and support from their providers when they get into financial difficulty remains a key priority, as it’s likely more people will need it
  • We’re also looking at how to help people with limited borrowing options, without reducing protection from unaffordable lending and other types of harm

Given that you and your firms represent a large proportion of the consumer credit market, this is a particularly timely moment for us to engage. It’s vital that we maintain constructive dialogue between regulators, industry, consumer groups and debt advisors, as the economic situation changes around us. Those changes will be having significant effects on firms across consumer credit, and a real impact on consumers, with much more change to come.

“Low levels of resilience and rising costs are a potent combination that could cause serious financial problems for millions of people – and that could have significant implications across the credit sector”.
   .

People across the country are facing significant pressure from the rising cost of living. We’re still processing the effects of previous seismic events like Brexit and the cornavirus pandemic, as the implications of the war in Ukraine start to impact the UK economy. Just as we and the credit industry acted swiftly and successfully to help shield consumers in the emergency phase of the pandemic, we need to respond again to these new circumstances – and be ready for future challenges when they come.

For us, that means continuing to sharpen our focus on the outcomes consumers get from credit markets, underpinned by our more adaptive, more assertive, and more innovative regulatory approach.

Today, I’ll talk about the outcomes we want to see from consumer credit and what we’re doing to help deliver those; how we’re adapting our approach in the new economic environment; and how we want to work with you and your colleagues to be ready to help people through the challenges ahead.

If you would like to read the full speech, please find the FCA publication here.

By David Petty

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