Provisions of new code welcomed

A new code designed to help consumers when it comes to borrowing and dealing with debt problems has been welcomed by a debt charity.

The British Ba…

A new code designed to help consumers when it comes to borrowing and dealing with debt problems has been welcomed by a debt charity.

The British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and the UK Cards Association agreed a range of measures this week, which have been backed by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).

A spokeswoman for the CCCS said the situation facing consumers is “always changing” and it is important the way lenders handle various situations also adjusts to reflect this.

One provision she particularly welcomed was the announcement of extra help for those people suffering mental health problems alongside debt, with a link between the two having been clearly identified.

The spokeswoman remarked: “We welcome it. People who are struggling financially and who have a mental health condition [will have] further assistance recommended for them. Their plight has been highlighted through the changes. It’s something that we’ve been aware of for a long time.”

One example of how the code may be used is for a mortgage lender to offer extra help to a person suffering depression who might potentially lose their home, instead of pursuing repossession.

A number of other provisions in the new code were added, such as greater responsibility in making decisions about lending in the first place and offering more general help to people in difficulty with repayments.

Commenting on the development of the new regime this week, UK Cards Association managing director Paul Marsh stated it is “a code strengthened in the customers’ interest”.

By Amy White

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