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, [...]

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 [...]

Latest News

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 High Cost Short Term Credit lenders including the threat of illegal lending; how to ensure more responsible lending practice, tackle problem debt, and expand the provision of affordable credit. Setting [...]

Improving the Financial Health of Low Income Groups

October 26th, 2016|1 Comment

A new CfRC report identifies the need for new funding programmes to be established to meet the debt and financial capability advice needs of low income groups, including low paid workers and private tenants. The research (‘Improving the Financial Health of Low Income Groups’), which was supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, reviewed how low income households are currently being supported to manage their money, [...]

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CfRC Annual Conference: Building a Financially Healthy Society

28th February 2017

The Foundry, London

Early bird offer: £99 +VAT. Subject to availability book by Friday 23 December.

The storm clouds are gathering for working class households and communities.  After a period of sustained pressure caused by poor real wage growth, the continued casualisation of employment and cuts to both in and out of work benefits, living costs seem set to rise further as sterling depreciates.  The consumer credit debt burden is at an all-time high, and debt advice agencies are reporting a surge in arrears on household bills.

This conference will reflect on the financial health of Britain today. It will examine how credit regulation; and the design and delivery of financial services, financial capability support and debt advice all need to be adapted to better help people meet the challenges posed by the current economic climate. Join us on 28th February to discuss how we can deliver real help for hard-up households and communities over the course of the current Parliament.

The conference is now open for booking on the Learning and Work Institute website here.

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.

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Latest posts

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 [...]

Improving the Financial Health of Low Income Groups

October 26th, 2016|1 Comment

A new CfRC report identifies the need for new funding programmes to be established to meet the debt and financial capability advice needs of low income groups, including low paid workers and private tenants. The [...]

Risk of recession increases as household consumer credit debt burden hits ‘danger level’

October 20th, 2016|0 Comments

The latest quarterly National Accounts data (released by the Office for National Statistics at the end of September) show a continued worsening of the household debt burden.  The household debt problem is now particularly acute [...]

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.

GET THE BOOK

“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