Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [HL] - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 24th October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Altmann Baroness Altmann Conservative 6:15 pm, 24th October 2017

My Lords, I add my support for the amendment and congratulate the Cross Benches and the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, on tabling it. In a way, it is very sad that the financial services industry is not making more effort to look after vulnerable customers or indeed to present materials in the ways that the noble Baroness described. I think that doing so pictorially could help everybody. So far, financial services are all about dense words and jargon that people struggle to understand.

This body is due to be financed by the industry and the industry has perhaps not always taken enough care. One hears stories from cancer charities where somebody would call up their bank and say, “Look, I am going through some treatment. Is there any chance I could either have a loan or some respite from repayments?” It simply is not on their agenda to help people in that way, even when people approach them and explain their vulnerability and their circumstances. So it is right that this body should introduce some measures that are designed particularly for vulnerable customers and, indeed, change the narrative and the language used to explain finance, educate people and inform them about finance, in ways that the industry seems not yet to have been able to do.