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Debt Collection News Roundup – May, 2019

The team of experts at Access Credit Management are committed to making sure that we find the most interesting and relevant news about our industry, and once a month we publish a News Roundup.  This is intended to let you know what’s going on and keep you informed of all the important news within the sector so that you have a resource to make sure you receive of all the latest news.  It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here.  Please join in by adding your comments on our Facebook page, tweeting on Twitter or email us if you come across anything that you think we should include.

People here in the UK with long-standing credit card debts have been receiving letters encouraging them to make more than the minimum payments, raising concerns from the debt charity StepChange.   Rules set out by the City regulator are resulting in some receiving a follow-up reminder suggesting that they speed up the repayments and a warning that providers could suspend cards if action is not taken by March, 2020.  The rules were imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when it came to light that some providers are enjoying large profits as a result of more than 3 million UK customers who are persistent debtors.  We’ll be covering this in more detail over the coming weeks, so why not follow us on Facebook or Twitter so that you don’t miss this important information?

Hot on the heels of the Bank of England’s warning that a huge corporate debt bubble represents a significant threat to financial stability, the European Central Bank (ECB) has chimed in on this subject.  The ECB stated that leveraged loans to businesses presented a particularly high risk, especially if interest rates rise in the coming months.  It’s feared that this could trigger “market dysfunction” if the number of corporate bonds rated at just above junk status were to be downgraded en masse, leading to similar events to those experienced during previous financial crises.

Meanwhile, there’s a new type of emergency team on the block – a team of Debt Angels rushing to the rescue in South Bristol.  This group of support workers provide advice, support and a “listening ear” in a bid to help those in crippling debt.  The support group claims that a massive 35% of those who come to them for help are so desperate that they are suicidal.  The Christian organisation is backed by the Christians Against Poverty organisation and offers to help those in debt to create a plan to reassure their creditors whilst taking the pressure off the debtor.

Finally, the Cabinet Office Fairness Group published its Joint Public Statement on improving fairness in debt collection practices across central and local government.  This sets out how central and local government, the debt collection industry, and the money advice centre will collaborate to improve how government interacts with those in debt, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances.  With aggressive debt collection having a serious impact on those in financial difficulty, the group led a review of council tax collection which it hopes the government will use to reform the outdated regulations governing how local authorities collect funds owed.