FCA’s Woolard to chair review of unsecured credit market regulation

The FCA has announced that interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard, will chair a review on the future regulation of the unsecured credit market.

Reporting to the FCA Board, the regulator suggested its review will concentrate on how regulation can better support a healthy unsecured lending market.

The process will take into account the impact of COVID-19 on employment security and credit scores, changes in business models as well as new developments in unsecured lending, which includes the growth of unregulated products in retail and the workplace.

Woolard will be assisted by an advisory group and will make recommendations to the Board in early 2021, the FCA revealed.

The regulator described the review as an “important building block” for its consumer credit business priority, which the FCA announced as part of its 2020/21 business plan in April earlier this year.

Woolard is due to step down from the FCA Board and any executive or decision-making roles from 1 October. Following the completion of the review, Woolard will be moving on from the FCA and will not take up any external appointment until at least six months after the end of his executive role.

He commented: “It has been a tremendous honour to serve as chief executive of the FCA at such a critical time for the country and financial services. I’d like to thank my many colleagues over the last eight years for all their help and support. I am delighted to be asked to lead a timely and significant review where access to sustainable credit is of great importance to so many people.”

FCA chair, Charles Randell, added: “I am grateful for Chris’s contribution to the FCA, particularly during the last six months as he has led us through the coronavirus crisis with huge energy and skill.

“Chris’s deep understanding of the unsecured credit market makes him the ideal person to advise the Board on the development of regulation to support sustainable unsecured lending. Unsecured lending can be critical to helping people through tough times but can cause serious harm if it’s not well regulated.”

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