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In Focus Risk


What role for trade associations under the FCA?


The industry has seen much change over recent years, and the trade bodies are perfectly placed to help both the regulators understand the marketplace, and their members navigate the new rules


Jason Wassell Chief executive, BCCA jason@bcca.co.uk


Consumer credit has always undergone change. Throughout the last century we have seen it change from paper credit vouchers, turning to metal and then to plastic. Now in an era where cash plays less of a role, it seems appropriate that credit can be found on your mobile phone. In some ways consumer credit is just like


any other industry, in that changes can be traced back to a host of reasons that you will find in any academic business study. These include a demand from customers for products to meet new needs, technological advances and, of course, a shift in the way that society views an industry.


Industry changing Those operating in the consumer credit sector will recognise that we have seen all of those trends in recent years. There has been the development of new online platforms that both help lenders manage their business and provide new points of access for the customer. Demand for consumer-credit products is


clear, and this has been made more of an issue as we moved through the banking crisis and mainstream credit dried up. Society discussed the value of credit, as


the debate erupted around payday lending. Those outside of this particular market may have felt that it would have no impact on them. But the discussion about payday lending turned into something bigger; it became a debate about the value of credit. To the media, nearly every debt could be


October 2015


reported as payday loan and just about every lender could be described as a payday lender. For many mainstream journalists this was


their first experience of the world of credit. It was their introduction to interest rates – particularly APR, to the science of credit scoring and the art of collections. Politicians from all sides travelled this steep learning curve, though some found it politically useful to stop along the way. The consequences are being felt by us all


as some pretty fundamental questions are asked. Every step along the customer journey is now up for discussion, all past assumptions are up for debate. In this environment, there has never been


a better time for the trade association to play its role. It is important that they represent the interests of their


www.CCRmagazine.co.uk >> 41


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