On Monday 28 March, the APPG Debt & Personal Finance held an in-person event on ‘Debt advice needs in the wake of the pandemic’. The guest speakers at the event included Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive of the Money and Pensions Service; she was joined by subject experts from a mental health charity, creditor, trade body and academic perspective.
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive of the Money and Pensions Service described the steps MAPS had taken with partners to alleviate debt pressures during the pandemic. Debt advice partner organisations had responded with admirable speed to adapt, going the extra mile to meet people’s needs.
MAPS had secured an extra £38m in funding for debt services in June 2020, and while demand for debt advice dipped during the pandemic due to government interventions, the cost-of-living crisis meant 8.5 million people were now struggling with debt problems.
Turning to the ongoing commissioning process for debt advice, Ms Siarkiewicz stated that it was right that the process has received scrutiny and acknowledged the need to find a new way forward. Ms Siarkiewicz stated that while the majority of its debt contracts will be commissioned in September, grant funding for community-based debt advice is being renewed temporarily while MAPS consults on the best way to deliver these services in the future. Continue reading Debt advice needs in the wake of the pandemic
On 17 June 2014 the APPG held a joint meeting with the Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency APPG to discuss how well the energy market works for vulnerable consumers.
Marilyn Price of Stratford-upon-Avon CAB spoke first. She explained PPM users pay higher energy prices and often endure the loss of energy supply. Many feel the information suppliers provide on fuel costs was poor, making it difficult to manage money well. Continue reading Seminar on ‘A fairer energy market for vulnerable consumers’
On 13 May 2014 the APPG held a joint meeting with the Mental Health APPG on debt and mental health as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2014.
MoneySavingExpert.com’s Martin Lewis opened by urging lenders not to disenfranchise those with mental health problems. He said borrowers need the option to constrain their credit use during periods of acute symptoms. This includes an automatic card block in response to unusual spending patterns – which a trusted friend could then unlock. Continue reading Seminar on debt and mental health – Mental Health Awareness Week
On 5 March 2014 a breakfast meeting was held to discuss the fallout from the PPI mis-selling scandal and the lessons to be learned.
Yvonne Fovargue MP chaired the meeting, inviting panellists to respond to a new report from Citizens Advice on claims management companies and the costs of redress. Continue reading Seminar on the cost of redress and fallout from the PPI mis-selling scandal
On 19 November 2013, the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance held a joint meeting with StepChange Debt Charity to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s proposals for regulating the payday lending sector.
The meeting provided MPs and members of the Group the chance to question the FCA directly on its proposals and feed in to its consultation. Continue reading Seminar on FCA proposals to regulate payday loans companies
On 18 June 2013, the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance met to discuss the transfer of consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) due in April 2014. Continue reading Seminar on the future of consumer credit regulation
On 13 March 2013, the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance met to discuss the forthcoming Consumer Rights Bill.
Speakers welcomed the Bill which aims to simplify and consolidate key consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services, digital content and the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts. Continue reading Seminar on the Consumer Rights Bill
On 29 January the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance discussed regulation of the bailiff industry, hearing from consumer groups and trade associations.
Dr Steven Everson, from the Civil Enforcement Association, said that profit was not a “dirty word” in the sector even when the only source of income was from the debtor. Proposals from the MOJ would result in a clearer, less complicated system. Continue reading Seminar on bailiffs
On 11 July 2012 the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance hosted a breakfast seminar to launch a new report from Citizens Advice called Access to Cash – Don’t Bank on It.
Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice, Teresa Perchard, argued that after a decade of progress, with the development of a free cash machine network and basic bank account provision, the situation was now in reverse.
Continue reading Seminar on ‘Access to cash’
On Tuesday 7 February 2012 the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance MPs hosted an evidence session to explore the regulation of high cost credit and debt management services. Members of the APPG hope to improve the regulation of the consumer credit and debt management service markets. Continue reading Evidence session on consumer detriment in the high cost credit and debt management markets