UK FCA Reports Consumers are Struggling to Pay Bills

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a report on consumer debt. The FCA states that 7.4 million people are struggling to pay bills and credit card debt (January 2024).  While this is lower than the 10.9 million in January 2023 who were encountering difficulties to covering costs, it remains far higher than the 5.8 million individuals measured in February 2020.

The FCA noted:

“In the 12 months to January 2024, 2.7 million adults sought help from a lender, a debt adviser, or another financial support charity because they found themselves in financial difficulty. Nearly half (47%) of those who sought help said they were in a better position as a result. However, 2 in 5 adults who had fallen behind on their bills said they had avoided talking to their lender about their finances.

Renters, single adults with children, adults from a minority ethnic background and people living in the north-east of England were more likely to be in financial difficulty.”

Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, says the agency has cracked down on firms that have not met “expectations” in helping consumers manage their bills.

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