Current Research Programmes

Building Financially Healthy Lives and Communities

We want to ensure that all British households lead financially healthy lives.  This requires us to think about how they can be assisted to meet their day to day costs and also build up savings and plan positively for their future. We know that too many households are struggling financially, and that these are often geographically concentrated.  Even with very careful money management, the combination of low pay, insecure [...]

Getting Britain Out of Debt

We believe that over-indebtedness is receiving insufficient policy attention.  Not only does it have major human and social costs, but the debt burden is negatively impacting on our economic performance. The extent to which debt poses a burden on households is contingent on three factors: (i) the amount of debt that is outstanding; (ii) the cost of that debt, in terms of interest, fees and minimum payment [...]

Improving Credit Regulation

Inadequate regulation of credit markets has created all three of the major economic crises experienced in Britain since 1970. The removal of direct Government controls over lending and the replacement of these with the 'Competition and Control' system of regulation in 1971 lay behind the Heath Government's 'dash to growth'.  It relied on credit markets being controlled only through the manipulation of interest rates by the Bank of England, [...]

Latest News

The closure of BrightHouse stores is good news but we need to alert people to the Fair for You alternative

February 16th, 2017|0 Comments

The largest rent-to own company in the UK, BrightHouse, has recently announced that it is set to close a number of its stores, as it struggles to cope with increased regulatory scrutiny of its business practices. Commenting on this development, CfRC Director, Damon Gibbons, said: “The recent announcement that BrightHouse is set to close 28 of its stores is good news.  BrightHouse have been exploiting [...]

CfRC Annual Conference | Building a financially healthy society

January 9th, 2017|0 Comments

28th February, The Foundry, London 2017 is set to be a critical year. The failings of the UK's economic model, which is heavily reliant on consumer spending, are becoming apparent as households face a further attack on their living standards caused by the slide in Sterling.  High levels of household indebtedness, rising levels of low paid and often insecure employment, and the continuation of the Government's [...]

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CfRC Annual Conference: Building a Financially Healthy Society

28th February 2017

The Foundry, London

Prices frozen at £99 plus VAT, some full bursaries available

2017 is set to be a critical year.  The Financial Conduct Authority is consulting on its approach to credit regulation, including whether or not to extend the scope of the total cost cap from payday loans to other areas of the market…Government is considering the arrangements for the successor body to the Money Advice Service…there is rapid technological change within the financial services industry itself… and households are facing a further squeeze on incomes.

It has never been more important for stakeholders to come together and discuss how we can ensure that regulation, debt advice and insolvency procedures, and financial health programmes can be improved to better meet the needs of British households and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

Check out the latest information about the conference, including confirmed sessions and speakers here.

To ensure that as many people as possible can attend, we have frozen our delegate fees at £99 plus VAT and also have some full bursaries available. To book your place, please visits the Learning and Work website here.  If you would like to enquire about a free place, please contact

Britain in the Red | Final Report

August 2016

We have now published our final report for the TUC and Unison commissioned ‘Britain in the Red’ project.  This has been analysing aggregate and household survey data to assess the impact of the rising consumer credit debt burden for households in recent years.  The report indicates that approximately £25 billion in consumer credit interest payments are being made by households each year, which is equivalent to 1.4% of GDP, and that 3.2 million households are over-indebted (paying out more than 25% of their gross income to their creditors).  Our current debt advice and insolvency system is not an adequate response to this level of household indebtedness and urgently needs to be reviewed.


Latest posts

The closure of BrightHouse stores is good news but we need to alert people to the Fair for You alternative

February 16th, 2017|0 Comments

The largest rent-to own company in the UK, BrightHouse, has recently announced that it is set to close a number of its stores, as it struggles to cope with increased regulatory scrutiny of its business [...]

Trialling ‘supported rent flexibility’ for social housing tenants

January 6th, 2017|0 Comments

  The Centre for Responsible Credit, with funding from the Money Advice Service What Works? Fund, is trialling a programme of 'supported rent flexibility' with social housing tenants with dependent children in London and the [...]

CfRC gives evidence to House of Lords

November 3rd, 2016|1 Comment

CfRC Director, Damon Gibbons, appeared before the House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion on Tuesday 1st November. The wide-ranging session included questions about the impact of the price cap on payday and other [...]

BRITAIN’S PERSONAL DEBT CRISIS | How we got here and what to do about it.

Damon Gibbons | 1 Jul 2014

In Britain’s Personal Debt Crisis, CfRC Director Damon Gibbons, provides an assessment of how, over a period of 40 years, we have come to be over-reliant on financial services, and credit in particular.   Our basic needs – for affordable homes, for education, decent jobs, and dignity in old age – are all now contingent on our ability to access financial services.  But the way in which these are provided is highly regressive and is contributing to growing wealth inequality.  Credit expansion has also contributed to our economic decline, paved the way for attacks on the welfare state, and fed the growth of a highly individualistic and unsustainable consumer culture.

Whilst charting these developments, the book also outlines a programme for national renewal, including measures to  bring credit back under control and restore the financial sector to servants of government economic policy.


“Damon’s book provides a timely insight into the power of personal debt to not just make life a daily struggle of the public but do long term damage to the future our country. He matches detailed analysis with a passionate call for action that many will find compelling”

Stella Creasy MP

”Damon Gibbons has campaigned  over many years for fair lending at a reasonable price to low income households.  From doorstep lending to payday loans he has challenged established ideas and  called for a cap on costs – a policy now endorsed by the Government.”

Paul Lewis, journalist and broadcaster

Damon  is one of those rare people who is able to combine a social policy researchers’  attention to detail with a campaigners’ zeal and passion to make change  happen.  The fact that he has managed to sustain this work for more than a  decade, even when it has often meant swimming against the prevailing opinion of  the times, is remarkable.  Not only that, his analysis of the problems and  solutions to Britain’s personal debt crisis is always insightful, and almost  always right!”

Niall  Cooper, Director, Church  Action on Poverty

”This is a timely analysis of the growth in personal debt and a passionate plea for action. Few people understand the working of credit markets better than Damon and his proposals for effective regulation deserve serious attention.”

Paul Blomfield MP