DEMSA Summary: Scottish debt solutions / AI / Events / Collaborations / Training

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

An overview of the latest financial updates, the bulletin touches upon pivotal developments within the UK’s financial landscape, including the Bank of England’s interest rate decision, statutory debt solution statistics in Scotland, and the state of personal insolvency.

This week the update explores the effects of the cost-of-living crisis on consumer behavior, regulatory updates, and collaborative initiatives aimed at improving financial and consumer services. Noteworthy, too, are the advances in understanding and supporting consumer vulnerability, highlighted through upcoming events and training opportunities.

Key Points

  1. The Bank of England has maintained interest rates at 5.25%, with a committee vote of 6-3.
  2. Twelve-month CPI inflation fell to 4% in December 2023, below previous expectations.
  3. CCJs against consumers in England & Wales rose by 21% in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022.
  4. Scottish consumer decrees decreased by 21% in the same period, while the average value of consumer debt increased.
  5. The number of judgments against consumers in Northern Ireland increased by 40% year-on-year.
  6. An estimated 6 million people have relied on credit to make ends meet in the last 12 months.
  7. New appointments and strategic partnerships are highlighted, including Intrum UK’s new Managing Director and collaborations between TDX Group and Sigma Connected.
  8. Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics for Q3 2023-24 show a slight increase in personal insolvencies and a rise in DPP approvals under the DAS.
  9. The annual summary for 2023 reveals a 13% decrease in individual insolvencies compared to 2022.
  10. Breathing space registrations saw a 25% increase in 2023, with over 200,000 registered since the scheme’s inception.
  11. Events and training opportunities focus on supporting vulnerable customers and understanding consumer vulnerability.
  12. There’s a significant emphasis on technology and AI’s role in improving customer understanding and service.
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Key Statistics

  • Interest rates held at 5.25% by the Bank of England.
  • CPI inflation decreased to 4% in December 2023.
  • 21% increase in CCJs registered against consumers in England & Wales in Q4 2023 year-on-year.
  • 21% decrease in decrees registered against Scottish consumers in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022.
  • 40% increase in judgments against consumers in Northern Ireland year-on-year.
  • 6 million estimated to have relied on credit to make ends meet in the last 12 months.
  • 2,014 personal insolvencies recorded in Scotland for Q3 2023-24, a 2% increase from the previous year.
  • 103,454 individual insolvencies registered in 2023, marking the lowest annual number since 2017.
  • 88,390 registered breathing spaces in 2023, a 25% increase from 2022.

Key Takeaways

  • The Bank of England’s decision to maintain interest rates aims to anchor inflation expectations.
  • The significant rise in CCJs and judgments against consumers highlights increasing financial pressures on UK households.
  • Despite a general decrease in individual insolvencies, there’s a nuanced picture across different parts of the UK.
  • The reliance on credit to manage living expenses underscores the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Strategic appointments and partnerships reflect the financial industry’s focus on growth and transformation.
  • The Scottish debt solution statistics indicate a continued reliance on statutory debt management solutions.
  • The annual summary for 2023 suggests a complex landscape of personal insolvency with varying trends in IVAs, DROs, and bankruptcies.
  • The increase in breathing space registrations signals a growing need for financial respite among consumers.
  • Upcoming events and training highlight the financial sector’s commitment to improving support for vulnerable customers.
  • The emphasis on technology and AI underscores the sector’s drive towards enhancing customer service and understanding.
  • Regulatory updates and consumer support initiatives reflect an evolving approach to consumer protection and financial health.
  • The bulletin underscores a dynamic financial landscape, marked by challenges, regulatory responses, and strategic initiatives aimed at supporting consumers.
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