DEMSA Summary: IVA voting / DROs / FCA news / FOS / MaPS consultation / Collaborations / Events

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

This week’s bulletin outlines the importance of non-executive directors (NEDs) in enhancing financial resilience, the anticipated increase in cybersecurity expenditure, changes in DRO application fees, the dynamics of consumer credit borrowing, and the escalating issue of court actions against individuals for unpaid energy bills. It also touches on collaborative efforts and innovations within the sector, highlighting the industry’s ongoing adaptations to regulatory demands, technological advancements, and consumer protection needs.

Key Points

  1. NEDs are crucial for providing fresh perspectives and aiding in financial resilience.
  2. Cybersecurity spending by financial institutions is forecasted to significantly increase.
  3. The fee for new DRO applications has been waived, making them more accessible.
  4. Consumer credit borrowing has slowed, reflecting a mixed picture of financial confidence and necessity among households.
  5. Citizens Advice calls for regulatory action against aggressive energy bill debt collection practices.
  6. The Financial Ombudsman Service has updated its complaint level predictions, reflecting growing consumer financial concerns.
  7. Regulatory efforts are ongoing to shut down unregulated financial advice sites.
  8. A virtual event on IVA voting and better consumer outcomes in debt management is scheduled.
  9. The financial sector is seeing collaborative efforts and innovations, such as the introduction of new flags for unpaid carers by VRS and the application of machine learning in debt collection.
  10. Apprenticeships are highlighted as a win-win for learners and employers.
  11. There’s a call for political commitment to address the underlying drivers of problem debt.
  12. The bulletin emphasises the sector’s push towards leveraging technology for improved outcomes.
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Key Statistics

  • Cybersecurity and risk management spending is predicted to reach $215 billion in 2024, a 14.3% increase from 2023.
  • The £90 fee for new DRO applications has been waived.
  • Mortgage borrowing is rising, but consumer credit borrowing slowed to £1.4 billion in February 2024.
  • Consumer credit borrowing was 8.7% higher than a year earlier.
  • Energy debt rose by £2.8 million a day in the last six months of 2023, reaching a record £3.1 billion.

Key Takeaways

  • The strategic inclusion of NEDs is essential for bolstering a firm’s ability to manage financial challenges and innovate.
  • Increasing investments in cybersecurity reflect the sector’s prioritisation of digital security amid rising threats.
  • Accessibility of debt relief measures, such as DROs, is improving, offering better support for those in financial distress.
  • The dynamics of consumer borrowing indicate varied economic pressures and behaviours among UK households.
  • There’s a pressing need for regulatory interventions to protect consumers from aggressive debt collection tactics, especially in the energy sector.
  • The financial ombudsman’s adjustments in complaint predictions underline the escalating consumer financial concerns and disputes.
  • Continuous regulatory vigilance is necessary to safeguard consumers from unregulated financial advice and practices.
  • Upcoming events and initiatives indicate a strong focus on collaborative efforts and technological innovations to address sector challenges.
  • Apprenticeship programmes offer significant benefits for both individuals and organisations, aligning with broader sectoral goals for skills development and engagement.
  • Political and regulatory frameworks must evolve to address the root causes of problem debt and ensure consumer protection.
  • The financial sector’s engagement with technology, from machine learning to cybersecurity, is key to future-proofing services and enhancing consumer outcomes.
  • Collaborative efforts within the sector are crucial for leveraging collective expertise and resources towards improving financial health and resilience.
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