In the interests of openness, here is a copy of the letter I have just written and sent to the FCA Executive Committee, I will of course let you know their official response.
Sadly I have had to take this step as the Cabinet Office, Department of Trade, the Secretary of State Kemi Badenoch and even, get this, Government Lawyers have all ignored my urgent pleas for clarification.
Perhaps they are way too busy dealing with the aftermath of having a Prime Minister found to have been lying whilst people were suffering, or just don’t care about those BBL’ers that are suffering.
Anyway, here is the letter, fortunately as many of you are aware I always and without fail get a reply from the FCA:
Can you ask, as a matter of urgency, the Executive Committee are they 100% aware that in an announcement posted just the other day by Rishi Sunak, he clearly and beyond any reasonable doubt stated that he and the Government recognizes some 8 million households are vulnerable, and is therefore issuing them special “cost of living payments”.
We’re going further to help you with the Cost of Living ???? pic.twitter.com/lYrvnaLyyG
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) June 20, 2023
As such, as per the agreement signed between Bounce Back Loan Lenders and the Government, can the Executive Committee 100% confirm to me that Lenders are being giving the details of any of those 8 million households containing people who may have BBLs so they can immediately comply with their legal requirements, or whether the Lenders are asking their BBL recipients if they are any of those Government confirmed vulnerable people.
For their requirements do clearly state that:
“Where a Lender, after the Initial Drawdown Date of a Scheme Facility, identifies a Borrower as vulnerable, (within the meaning of Conc 7.2) or has reason to believe that a Borrower may be vulnerable, appropriate adjustments much to be made to ensure that the Borrower’s circumstances are accommodated throughout the duration of the Scheme Facility.”
I have seen a dramatic change regarding the type of caller to my helpline in the last few weeks, those being the ones who have taken all of the PAYG options and are now faced with full monthly repayment amounts, who cannot afford to make them.
Many of them I would certainly classify as vulnerable, and my concern is that as the Prime Minister has stated such a huge number of families and people in the UK, are vulnerable, so much so the Government has identified them and is paying them an emergency cash payment, some Lenders may not be aware of who they are and may be breaching Conc 7.2.
However, I would like the Executive Committee to also be aware that quite a number of Lenders are bending over backwards to accommodate anyone contacting them who are clearly vulnerable, but there are still a few who simply push people to default with no support or clear explanation, (they do of course do that for obvious reasons, i.e. they can rapidly claim on the guarantee and pawn off those customers to the debt collectors, therefore freeing up staff for other duties, but I digress).
I will of course, continue to pass over to you (with their express permission) anyone who wishes to give you additional intelligence about BBL Lenders and their staff who are not abiding by the rules or treating them abhorrently, but the above matter does need addressing, as I am often the first port of call for those in a dark and lonely place.
Please get back to me asap and allay my fears, and as always confirm receipt of this email.
All the Very Best
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