CfRC Home | fresh thinking for credit regulation 2017-10-12T08:56:17+00:00

Current Research Programmes

2017-01-06T15:08:41+00:00

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 [...]

2016-12-15T13:35:35+00:00

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 [...]

2016-12-15T13:35:35+00:00

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

It’s time to stop and think about rent and Council Tax data sharing

November 23rd, 2017|1 Comment

At the end of September the Financial Inclusion Commission published a report by Policy in Practice claiming that the incorporation of rent payment data into the credit referencing system would improve access for tenants to lower cost credit.  And tomorrow, the House of Lords is set to discuss a Bill put down by the Crossbencher, and founder of the Big Issue, Lord Bird, which would [...]

BrightHouse: The FCA’s actions are not sufficient

October 27th, 2017|0 Comments

It’s been a long time coming, and even now it’s still not good enough. Earlier this week some modicum of justice was finally delivered to the long suffering customers of BrightHouse.  Following a lengthy investigation, the Financial Conduct Authority ('FCA') has concluded that BrightHouse has been irresponsible by lending to (and to our mind, therefore exploiting) people who could not afford its extortionate prices.   A [...]

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Improving Financial Health: new approaches and innovations

30th October 2017

Hallam Conference Centre, London

A joint conference between the Centre for Responsible Credit and the Financial Health Exchange at Toynbee Hall.

An increasing number of British households are in extremely poor financial health; either highly indebted, lacking adequate savings, or both.  The intense financial pressure that many households are currently under is forcing us to re-think the design of services and products to ensure that these meet the realities of their lives, whilst technological developments potentially provide some opportunities to reduce delivery costs, scale interventions, and provide highly personalised interventions.

However, rapid technological development also poses risks, and the roles to be played by financial innovators, policy-makers and regulators, and the wide range of existing stakeholders in the financial health agenda will be critical in determining outcomes moving forwards.

This conference will critically examine the challenges that lie ahead and discuss the need for genuine co-design of new services; more collaborative working, and holistic responses.  We will also discuss ways to build trust with consumers; and how we can harness the opportunities that technology offers for both individual and social good.

The draft programme for the event is available here.

Book your place today here

The Decline of Local Welfare Schemes in England

September 2017

Local welfare provision in England is at risk of collapsing if Government does not urgently review its approach and step in with more funding for local authorities.  A failure to act will create widespread destitution, and put even greater pressure on already over-stretched housing, health, and social care services.  Those are the key messages from our latest research, which has been funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and which involved an assessment of Cabinet and Committee papers detailing current budgets for local welfare schemes and the reasons for cuts.  From this exercise we were able to obtain information about current funding levels for schemes in around 70 percent of English local authorities.  We also conducted interviews with eighteen people who have directly affected by the closure of schemes in Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.

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Latest posts

It’s time to stop and think about rent and Council Tax data sharing

November 23rd, 2017|1 Comment

At the end of September the Financial Inclusion Commission published a report by Policy in Practice claiming that the incorporation of rent payment data into the credit referencing system would improve access for tenants to [...]

BrightHouse: The FCA’s actions are not sufficient

October 27th, 2017|0 Comments

It’s been a long time coming, and even now it’s still not good enough. Earlier this week some modicum of justice was finally delivered to the long suffering customers of BrightHouse.  Following a lengthy investigation, [...]

One week to go, and we have a fantastic line-up for you…

October 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

Next Monday our joint conference with Toynbee Hall's Financial Health Exchange will bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss how we can use new approaches and innovations to improve the financial health of [...]

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