Last month’s ‘Redesigning Financial Services and Support’ conference saw us host Michael Sheen and hear about the work of the End High Cost Credit Alliance; discuss how new support services and financial products could actively involve lower income communities in their design and delivery; and hear how alternatives to credit use – such as Rent-Flex – could make a real difference to people’s lives.
It’s vital that we now stay in touch to deliver our vision of a financial services system that both meets household needs to smooth cash flow and raise investment, and also supports a fairer and more sustainable economy and society.
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The next two months alone will be particularly busy.
- The Financial Conduct Authority will shortly publish its proposals to address the iniquities of the rent to own and doorstep lending markets. It’s record in these areas has been very poor, and we will undoubtedly need to organise a robust response;
- In June, we will be publishing our evaluation of the Rent-Flex trial with Optivo Housing Association. Although currently small in scale, this is showing great potential. We are really excited by the results so far, and are keen to roll this out by bringing in additional partners over the course of the year;
- We will also shortly be publishing a review of local authority responses to increased indebtedness at the local level. This will set out how direct financial support (including Discretionary Housing and Local Welfare payments) can be better integrated with debt and benefits advice and affordable credit provision to improve the support for households at risk of exploitation in the credit market.
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