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Change and Innovation in the Unsecured Credit Market Review

Question for Treasury

UIN HL90, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement the recommendations made by the Financial Conduct Authority in The Woolard Review - A review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market, published on 2 February.

Answered on

20 May 2021

The Government has welcomed The Woolard Review – A review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market. The review will contribute to the evidence base to inform the Government’s future decisions in relation to this market.

The review made recommendations to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), including many calling for the FCA to work closely with government. The FCA has stated that it supports the recommendations directed to the FCA and will build these recommendations into their forthcoming Business Plan, as one driver of their priorities for 2021-22.

While many of the recommendations are for the FCA and are, as the review acknowledges, longer-term recommendations there was one recommendation relating to Buy-Now-Pay-Later which required urgent Government action.

We have already responded to this recommendation. On 2 February the Government announced it would legislate to regulate interest-free Buy-Now-Pay-Later agreements, and these agreements will be regulated by the FCA. On 17 March, the Government tabled an amendment to the Financial Services Bill to provide the Government with the powers to ensure a proportionate approach to this regulation. The Government will bring forward secondary legislation to bring currently unregulated Buy-Now-Pay-Later products into regulation when Parliamentary time allows. The final approach to regulation will be determined following public consultation.

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