On Monday, 22 February 2021 ESAN hosted the first of a series of special webinars. Carl Packman from Fair by Design, presented the findings of a recent PFRC report looking at recent changes in relation to the poverty premium (the extra costs of being on a low income) to understand how the costs and types of poverty premium have changed in the last few years.
A new programme of research, led by Fair By Design and the Money Advice Trust, explores the issue of inclusive design in credit, insurance, energy and other essential services markets. The Inclusive Design in Essential Services project will publish two reports in 2020 on how regulators and businesses can adopt inclusive design strategies in their work.
UKRN, with the FCA, Ofcom, Ofgem, Ofwat and CCWater, have worked together to develop a set of performance scorecards to measure the customer experience across key sectors. You can now access the scorecards for financial services, communications, energy, and water in one place – with consumer metrics covering service quality, price differentials and satisfaction levels.
The review looked at how firms treat customers in arrears or financial difficulty. This is of particular concern as the possibility of interest rate rises looms. The review finds that arrears management in firms has improved since the last review. However, mortgage lenders and administrators need to place greater emphasis on delivering consistently fair outcomes for customers based on their individual circumstances.
FCA is working with industry to help them improve their practices. This includes better support and empowerment of front-line staff and greater flexibility to support fair treatment of individual customers, based on their specific personal and financial circumstances. FCA also wants firms to take proactive steps to identify borrowers who could be susceptible to potential interest rate rises and have strategies to treat these customers fairly.