Employer Salary Advance Schemes (ESAS) and loans provided with the security of 'first call' on wages are expanding. Whilst collecting repayments directly from pay helps reduce the cost of borrowing, there are concerns that the products could harm some customers. In this blog we urge providers to ensure advances and loans are affordable and for mechanisms to be put in place so financially distressed customers can easily request a suspension of payments. We also call for further research to be conducted into the impacts of the products.
Following reports of a possible Government U-turn concerning the regulation of Buy Now Pay Later, we provide further details of the link to credit card debt and argue that should be subject to the same rules.
Reports that Government is considering a 'U-turn' with respect to the regulation of Buy Now Pay Later products indicates a willingness to sacrifice consumer protection for temporary economic growth. It would also make for a huge divergence between Britain and other jurisdictions, including the EU, who are proposing a tougher crack-down on what, essentially, is just another version of the credit card.
Estimates of illegal moneylending use vary widely, from just 200,000 to over 1 million. But whatever the true scale of the problem, the main drivers are likely to be poverty and over-indebtedness rather than a "credit vacuum". Carl Packman reflects on the latest evidence.