UK government outlines BNPL tightening rules
Long-awaited proposals to tighten buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) rules in the UK have been tabled by the government.
In a bid to improve protection for users of the short-term credit, providers will be required to carry out checks on consumers and have Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval. However, legislation isn’t expected to take effect until late 2023.
The government’s announcement on Monday comes in response to a consultation which closed in January amid concerns around the financing model and questions over where providers are ensuring consumers’ have the ability to afford the products purchase under the service.
The proposals will also amend financial promotion rules to ensure BNPL ads are “fair, clear, and not misleading”. And consumers will be able to take complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The announcement is separate to the government’s recent commitment to reform the Consumer Credit Act, which overseas personal loans, including BNPL products.
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “Buy now pay later can be a helpful way to manage your finances but we need to ensure that people can embrace new products and services with the appropriate protections in place.
“By holding buy now pay later to the high standards we expect of other loans and forms of credit, we are protecting consumers and fostering the safe growth of this innovative market in the UK.”
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