DEMSA Summary: StepChange Connected / Stats / Collaborations / Events / Duty & Vulnerability Training

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

This weeks update provides a general update on various topics including energy bills, FCA data on Appointed Representatives, changes to SIP 3.3, StepChange statistics, economic abuse toolkit, collaborations among financial institutions, and upcoming events.

Additionally, it discusses key developments in the field of artificial intelligence, support after suicide, and training aligned with the Consumer Duty.

Key Points

  1. A coalition of 140 organizations and MPs has proposed the introduction of a social tariff to assist with energy bills during the winter.
  2. The FCA has published data on interventions in the Principal/AR regime, which is relevant to several sectors, including Motor Finance, Mortgage, Insurance, and Debt Advice.
  3. Changes have been made to SIP 3.3 (PTDs) to harmonize it with SIP 3.1 (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).
  4. In August 2023, StepChange provided debt advice to 13,881 clients, a 7% decrease from July.
  5. Ongoing collaborations, Opos being Arum approved, and Octopus Energy joining the IE Hub network.
  6. Open Banking’s role in gambling.
  7. Upcoming events include the Credit Strategy Collections & Vulnerability Summit, the MALG conference, and the Credit & Collections Technology Think Tank.
  8. New vulnerability training aligned with the Consumer Duty is available, emphasizing mental health and aligning with emerging toolkits and frameworks like FRIEND.

Key Statistics

  1. 34% of British adults expect to struggle to afford their energy bills during the winter without government support.
  2. The FCA oversees around 2,900 principals with approximately 35,000 ARs reporting to them.

Key Takeaways

  • The proposal for a social tariff to alleviate winter energy bill concerns underscores the importance of addressing affordability issues.
  • Financial institutions are adapting to FCA regulations and rules to enhance oversight of their Appointed Representatives.
  • Harmonization of SIP standards aims to streamline insolvency procedures.
  • StepChange’s August 2023 statistics show a slight decline in clients seeking debt advice.
  • Collaborations within the financial sector are focused on improving customer support and compliance.
  • The discussion of AI’s impact on the financial industry raises questions about ethical and regulatory considerations.
  • Initiatives like support after suicide and economic abuse toolkits demonstrate the industry’s commitment to consumer welfare.
  • Training aligned with the Consumer Duty emphasizes mental health and aligns with industry frameworks.
  • Ongoing efforts to simplify communication and documentation benefit both financial institutions and consumers.
  • Open Banking’s role in gambling and other financial services is a subject of increasing interest.
See also  In The Know ¦ DEMSA Summary

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