DEMSA Summary: Ofgem / Ofwat / UKRN / Consumer Duty / Debt Advice / Personal insolvency / Collaborations / Training

Summary – Read the full update here (including all the links & more)

This weeks bulletin provides a range of updates and insights, covering regulatory changes, market trends, and consumer protection initiatives. The bulletin highlights upcoming reviews, studies, and changes in various financial services areas, emphasizing the importance of continuous improvement in customer outcomes and adherence to new regulatory requirements.Key Points

  1. FCA ‘Portfolio’ Letter and CONC 8 Review Anticipation: Expectation of new regulatory communications and a focus on the upcoming CONC 8 review.
  2. Consumer Duty Reporting by July 2024: Emphasis on firms demonstrating continuous improvement in customer outcomes, especially in vulnerability management and quality assurance.
  3. Updates to FCA Application Pages: Changes reflecting the emphasis on Consumer Duty and Vulnerability Guidance.
  4. Credit Information Market Study Blog: Discussion on the significance of the credit information market for the debt sector.
  5. Mortgage Lending Statistics: Observations on the changes in residential mortgage loans and mortgage commitments.
  6. Petrol Prices and Vehicle Maintenance: Decrease in petrol prices and challenges in vehicle maintenance.
  7. Fair4All Finance on Illegal Money Lending: Research highlighting the prevalence of illegal money lending in the UK.
  8. Credit Union & Community Bank Event: Recap of the event focusing on IVAs and affordability workshops.
  9. Ofwat’s Vulnerability Guidance: Guidance for water companies to support customers needing extra help.
  10. Ofgem’s Support for ‘At Risk’ Customers: Introduction of new consumer standards to better support customers at risk of debt.
  11. UKRN Strategy 2024-27: Public consultation on the UK Regulators’ Network’s strategy for the next three years.
  12. FOS Quarterly Complaints (Q2 2023/24): Increase in complaints related to financial products and services.
See also  DEMSA Summary: Duty countdown / Vulnerability consultations / ISO 22458 / Panorama / Training / Collaborations

Key Statistics

  • Residential mortgage loans decreased by 0.1% from the previous quarter to £1,654.3 billion.
  • Gross mortgage advances increased by 18.6% from the previous quarter to £62.2 billion.
  • New mortgage commitments decreased by 16.5% from the previous quarter to £51.5 billion.
  • In November 2023, there were 8,243 individual insolvencies, a 21% decrease from the previous year.
  • FOS received 76,827 enquiries and 46,716 new complaints about financial products and services in Q2 2023/24.

Key Takeaways

  1. Firms should prepare for new FCA communications and reviews, particularly regarding Consumer Duty.
  2. Continuous improvement in customer outcomes is vital, with a focus on vulnerability management.
  3. Regularly checking FCA application pages for updates is crucial for compliance with new regulations.
  4. The credit information market study is gaining attention and is crucial for the debt sector.
  5. The mortgage market is experiencing notable fluctuations in loan values and commitments.
  6. A significant decrease in petrol prices contrasts with challenges in vehicle maintenance.
  7. Illegal money lending remains a prevalent issue in the UK, impacting many consumers.
  8. Events like the Credit Union & Community Bank event provide valuable insights into sector-specific issues such as IVAs.
  9. Water companies are receiving specific guidance from Ofwat to support vulnerable customers.
  10. Ofgem is implementing measures to support customers at risk of debt.
  11. The UKRN’s strategy for the next three years is open for public consultation.
  12. An increase in financial product and service complaints indicates a heightened focus on consumer protection.

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