February 2015

"More needed to counter the ruthless marketing of loans to people who need help managing their finances” Debt Advice Foundation

Payday lenders are to be forced to make details of their loans available to price comparison websites, to encourage greater competition.  In its final report on the payday lending market, the Competition and Markets Authority says that clear comparisons will help borrowers get a better deal.

Financial sector must treat vulnerable customers with more care and understanding, says the FCA

Financial ompanies need to take greater care and to have better strategies for dealing vulnerable customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said.

The regulator has produced a new report designed to increase understanding and to help companies develop better ways of identifying and helping vulnerable people.  It sets out best practice, but also highlights examples of people who have not been treated fairly, even when their difficulties should have been obvious.

Steep rise in nursery costs means it can be cheaper for one parent to stay at home

Nursery fees have gone up by a third in five years , with the result that it can now be cheaper for a parent to give up work rather than pay childcare costs.

The findings come from the Family and Childcare Trust’s annual Childcare Costs Survey.  Parents now have to pay an average of £6,000 a year to send a toddler to nursery – £1,533 more than in 2010.

“Over 95 per cent of the dual fuel customers of the Six Large Energy Firms could have saved by switching tariff and/or supplier” says competition inquiry

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the energy market – and its latest publication has confirmed what campaigners have been shouting from the rooftops for a long time, that if you stay loyal to one supplier you will almost certainly be paying too much for your energy.

The figures that have been published by the CMA could not be clearer.

Household debt increased “ at fastest rate for a decade” last year

Latest figures from The Money Charity show that the UK’s appetite for taking on more credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts increased dramatically in 2014.

We took on an average of just under £400 of additional consumer debt per household last year – the biggest increase since 2004. Borrowing dropped every year from 2009 to 2012.

Last year's increase contrasts sharply with 2013, when our consumer borrowing went up by just £50 from the previous year.