I wish to speak briefly in support of new clause 7, tabled by my hon. Friend Stella Creasy, to whom I pay tribute for her work with campaigners on the issue. Her new clause would require buy-now-pay-later operators to be regulated by the FCA.
As others have said, buy-now-pay-later is a new and growing industry, the popularity of which has rocketed in the pandemic, with one company reporting a 43% increase in sales. It is a form of credit that promotes impulse buying—one in four users spend more than they planned—and it is targeted at young consumers who are pursued by companies using celebrity influencers and targeted ads. StepChange, the debt charity, is seeing many more under-40s coming forward for advice with this type of debt. Let us protect consumers and properly regulate the sector, which is currently uncontrolled and operating with a social media-savvy face. Let us not wait for people to get into trouble with unsustainable levels of debt, particularly when we will see an increase in personal debt because of the pandemic.