In this section of the website, you will find information explaining who we are – the UK’s leading trade body for firms providing asset finance, consumer credit and motor finance –and what we do to represent the interests of our members.
Perhaps you are looking for guidance on motor finance options, consumer rights or hardship problems.
The FLA has a dedicated consumer information section packed with useful information and links to further sources of help.
Vulnerability: a guide for lending
Developed by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC), in partnership with both the Finance & Leasing Association and The UK Cards Association, Vulnerability: a guide for lending, uses the experiences of almost 1700 frontline and specialist staff across 18 creditor firms to address the issues they face when managing credit applications from vulnerable customers.
The guide, which was launched on 14 June 2017, focuses on supporting customers with a mental capacity, or other capacity, limitation that may affect their decision-making abilities. A new protocol – BRUCE – has been designed to help staff look for clues in a customer’s behaviour and speech which could indicate a problem with remembering, understanding, communicating or evaluating the credit options being discussed. The guide considers lending in different contexts and includes a section on assessing capacity in both intermediated and online environments.
This publication is the second part of a research project led by Chris Fitch and Jamie Evans of the PFRC, Colin Trend of the Plymouth Advice Centre and Tim Farmer of TSF Consultants. It has been endorsed by the key financial services associations – the Building Societies Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Credit Services Association, the British Bankers Association – and a leading debt advice organisation – the Money Advice Trust. The guide is accompanied by a Data Report which is also attached.
In March, the FLA and The UK Cards Association launched the first part of the research by the team which was aimed at supporting vulnerable consumers during the debt collection process, which was similarly endorsed.
Against the backdrop of the FCA’s increasing focus on the treatment by authorised firms of vulnerable consumers, we hope members will find the Guide useful and we will be sharing both the debt collection and lending reports with the Financial Conduct Authority, Government and other key stakeholders.
Vulnerability: A guide for Debt Collection
In 2016, the Finance & Leasing Association and The UK Cards Association commissioned the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre to undertake research into how firms approached the identification and support for customers in vulnerable circumstances.
The report comes in two parts, the first of which was launched on 21st March 2017. This captures the experiences of 1600 frontline collections and specialist staff from 27 UK lenders, debt collection firms and debt purchasers.
The guide describes strategies to help staff deal with specific and often challenging vulnerabilities, such as serious or terminal illness, bereavement, addiction and mental health issues.
Please click on the icons below for the full report, Vulnerability: A guide for Debt Collection, and the accompanying Data Report.
If you find yourself in difficulty unexpectedly, don’t ignore the problem. Getting into financial difficulty doesn’t just mean falling behind with repayments, it could be that you are keeping up with repayments but that you are finding it a struggle.
FLA members recognise that it is difficult and even embarrassing telling someone that you are struggling, but if you do they will do what they can to help you. PLease click on the leaflet below which provides you with a guide and details of various organisations who may also be able to assist you.
Alternatively, you may have a query about the FLA’s Lending Code, which sets out the high standards we expect from our members in their dealings with all customers.
We also provide a conciliation service for customers with complaints against members. This means we will liaise between both parties in an effort to resolve the issue but we cannot award compensation or enforce a decision about your case. You may also be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.