StepChange responds to FCA Buy Now, Pay Later research

The FCA has today released new data revealing a significant rise in the number of people using Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) and higher incidences of financial difficulty among regular BNPL users.

Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange Debt Charity, said:

Given the immense financial strain so many people have been under for the past two years, it’s no surprise to see the use of BNPL on the rise. While we know that these products work well for millions of consumers, for those who are struggling to make ends meet it is an unregulated line of credit which can all too easily result in people borrowing to pay bills or make other repayments.

“It’s encouraging to see that the FCA has secured changes to potentially unfair and unclear BNPL contract terms, as we have long-held concerns that current policies vary significantly between providers.

“However, only proportionate regulation will improve these products for millions of customers, which is why we’ve been disappointed to see delays to the implementation of new rules that have been promised since 2019. We urge the Government to stick to its guns and bring about this regulation as soon as possible. Putting struggling consumers first is the right thing to do.”