The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Treasury want to establish how people can get a fairer deal when borrowing money, and if they can manage their borrowing better. The review will also determine how best to improve the help available to those who run into financial difficulty.
The call for evidence invites people to have a say on how the existing consumer credit and personal insolvency regimes might be improved. It seeks views on a number of Coalition commitments, including:
• tackling unfair bank charges;
• introducing a seven-day cooling off period for store cards;
• introducing a power for a regulator to cap interest rates on credit and store cards; and
• requiring credit card providers to make electronic statements available to enable consumers to judge whether an alternative credit card would provide better value for money.
Consumer Minister Edward Davey said:
“Well-informed, empowered consumers are central to our vision for how a credit market between customers and lenders should work. I want to encourage both to take responsible decisions and to strengthen protection where necessary - particularly for the most vulnerable.
“If things go wrong people face a confusing array of debt remedies, so I also want to examine how the existing insolvency regime can be made to work better.”
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban said:
“This Government is committed to curbing unsustainable lending and helping individuals manage their finances better. I believe that improved competition will deliver a better deal for everyone, and that financially capable consumers are best placed to drive competition.”
Following the call for evidence, the Government plans to publish its proposals from the results of this review in 2011.
Notes to editors:
1) Edward Davey announced there would be a review of consumer credit and personal insolvency on 13 July 2010. You can see the press notice on this here: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=414423&NewsAreaID=2
2) All the relevant documents, video and podcast can be found here: www.bis.gov.uk/consumer-credit. Interested parties have two months to respond.
3) BIS wants to hear from members of the public as well as interested businesses and charities. We have set up an easy-to-use Survey Monkey poll on our website with ten questions that cover a range of credit issues, such as:
- How confident are you that you have the skills and knowledge to enter into credit agreements?
- Where would you look for help and advice if you were to experience debt problems?
- Which of the following debt solutions have you heard of?
- What factors do you think might stop you seeking early advice if you were in debt difficulty
4) For further information, contact Olivia Campbell on 020 7215 5363 or Olivia.Campbell@bis.gsi.gov.uk
5) BIS’ online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See [http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom](http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom) for more information.
Notes to Editors
BIS Press Office
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
020 7215 5363