[INSIGHTS] : Financial Lives Study Update

An update on the Financial lives study today from the FCA. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be getting better for many consumers. Separately I have also been analysing the early release data from the FCA. The Interactive graphic is pasted below for you to have a look and explore of the data too. A couple of observations % consumers with low resilience appears to be increasing% Increase is in the 55-64 age range, more in London and South WestKeeping… Read more

[INSIGHTS] : Cost of living trends

The impact of the rising cost of living on individuals seeking help from National Debtline in the UK is concerning. A recent report highlights the challenges faced by callers, including falling behind on bills, increasing debt levels, and reliance on credit. The document reveals the worsening trends in affordability and financial difficulties. “Debt storm brewing” as more struggle with household bills Key Summary Points Rising cost of living has strained household budgets, leading to many UK households going without essentials.National… Read more

[INSIGHTS] : FCA Financial Lives Study

In 2022 the FCA completed and released its Financial Lives Study. This was an extensive piece of research looking at consumers, their interaction with financial services products and financial resilience. The study has been highly informative and influential in the UK around the topics of vulnerability, characteristics to identify vulnerability, and issues around financial resilience. Links to the reports are available below, with our summary below this. Financial Lives Survey: 2023 6 month update Financial Lives Survey: 2022 Summary Financial… Read more

[INSIGHTS] : FCA Consumer Duty Summary

The deadline for the FCA consumer duty is looming, July 31st and there is plenty to do. This is a summary of the original guidance from the FCA, containing the rules for compliance. You can access the full document below. Summary This provides guidance for firms on complying with the Consumer Duty, emphasizing the importance of consumer support, designing products and services for the target market, and avoiding unreasonable barriers. It covers key considerations such as identifying the target… Read more

[INSIGHTS] Ofwat: Powers for higher standard in customer service

Ofwat annouced this week they are looking for new powers to monitor and enforce high levels of customer service. As David Black, Ofwat CEO pointed out. “In England and Wales, households are not able to choose their water company, so it is crucial that good customer service is not a postcode lottery. We want the powers to enforce that fundamental expectation.  People expect their water company to get the basics right and rectify things quickly when they go wrong and… Read more

[INSIGHTS] Ofgem: Vulnerability and guidelines within the Energy Industry

At the end of April Ofgem held a Vulnerability summit at which Jonathan Bearley gave a speech highlighting the need for a focus on vulnerability. Interestingly also the lines between financial difficulty and non-financial vulnerability is also increasingly getting blurred, with an increasing discussion of financial vulnerability. we will likely see even more of this trend going forward. Jonathan Brearley’s Speech at Ofgem’s Vulnerability Summit Energy prices are unlikely to return to pre-2021 levels and there is much to be… Read more