Motion ref. S5M-02473
Submitted by: Ruth Maguire, Cunninghame South, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Friday, November 11, 2016
Supported by: Clare Adamson, Tom Arthur, Jackie Baillie, Bruce Crawford, Ash Denham, Graeme Dey, Linda Fabiani, John Finnie, Kenneth Gibson, Jenny Gilruth, Mairi Gougeon, Christine Grahame, Ross Greer, Clare Haughey, Alison Johnstone, Bill Kidd, Johann Lamont, Monica Lennon, Gordon Lindhurst, Angus MacDonald, Gillian Martin, John Mason, Ivan McKee, Stuart McMillan, Pauline McNeill, Gil Paterson, David Torrance, Sandra White
That the Parliament notes the recent report, Payday loans: The next generation, which was published by StepChange Debt Charity, on changes to the high-cost, short-term credit (HCSTC) market since the introduction of stricter measures by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2015, which included a price cap on HCSTC and stronger affordability guidance and financial health warnings; welcomes evidence, which suggests that the 2015 FCA regulation has had a positive impact on some of the worst conduct issues, such as widespread irresponsible lending, seen at the peak of the market in 2013, with StepChange Debt Charity seeing significantly fewer clients with HCSTC debts in the first half of 2016 (16%) compared to nearly a quarter (23%) in 2013; understands, however, that there remain issues with lending practices, such as the treatment of customers in financial difficulties and the effectiveness of affordability assessments; notes the report’s call for the FCA’s review of the impact of the price cap, which is to be completed in 2017, to look further into such continuing problems; acknowledges the research’s conclusion that there remains a significant gap in the market for accessible and affordable credit; recognises the important role played by credit unions, such as the Kilwinning-based, 1st Alliance Credit Union, and many others across Scotland, in providing affordable loans with fairer conditions and longer repayment terms than the HCSTC market; commends the commitment of StepChange Debt Charity to helping those in debilitating debt and preventing others from entering into it, and wishes both the charity and Scotland’s credit unions all the very best in their ongoing work.