FCA warns that eight million are struggling to keep up with bills.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that 7.8 million people felt keeping up with their bills was a burden since 2020, compared to around 2.5 million people. A quarter of adults in the UK are experiencing financial hardship, or could face it soon if they experience a financial shock, and 4.2 million people missed a bill or loan payment in at least three of the six months preceding the survey.

FCA has responded quickly to cost of living pressures under its 3-year strategy to prevent serious disruption and set higher standards. Earlier this year, the regulator reminded thousands of lenders how they should help customers in financial distress and took action with more than 30 firms to ensure customers get the help they need.

While the FCA has yet to regulate buy now, pay later products, the regulator has successfully worked with suppliers to improve customer terms and conditions. The FCA recently warned insurers to protect their customers from unnecessary surcharges and unfair penalties, and its impending excise tax will boost consumer protection and force firms to put customers’ needs first.

The survey also found that people living in the most deprived areas of the UK were almost seven times more likely to experience financial hardship than those living in the most deprived areas. It also found that 12 percent of people in the Northeast were in financial difficulty, 10 percent in the Northwest, and 6 percent in the Southeast and Southwest were in the same situation.

The Financial Lives survey is the largest of its kind in the UK, surveying more than 19,000 respondents between February 2022 and June 2022. Full results will be published in early 2023.

Since 1992, D E Ball & Co Limited has been an independent business advisory service based in Telford, Shropshire. With their advisors working with businesses in the agriculture, services, construction and retailer sectors, they have a broad span of knowledge to offer. To find out more about D E Ball and recent statements from the FCA, click here: https://www.deball.co.uk/ 

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