Examination of Witnesses

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:11 pm on 19th November 2020.

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Fran Boait:

Similarly, a point that StepChange brought up that it is critical to keep in mind when looking at this kind of regulation is how we look at debtors and the stress and strain that they are under. We need to ensure that their needs are prioritised above those of creditors.

Earlier I made a macroeconomic point about financial services: unless we get our financial services sector better aligned with the needs of the people, small businesses and different parts of the economy in this country, household debt will keep rising. Obviously, we also need good direction from the Government’s fiscal spending plan. The direction of financial services and the direction of Government spending are critical in tackling household debt. If we do not look at some of those underlying systemic causes, we will keep kicking the can down the road, in terms of household debt being a problem. Although changes such as breathing space are welcome, they do not tackle the underlying causes and the need to get the number of people in problem debt down.