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FLA raises a glass to a confident 2019



 The FLA has predicted a confident start to 2019, judging from its own latest data.

 At the Association’s Christmas drinks reception at the Royal College of Physicians on December 4th, Stephen Sklaroff, Director General, took to the lectern to preview figures from October 2018.

 The FLA’s markets, we were told, “will continue to thrive whatever happens over the next few months.  We have seen ample proof of that, both during the financial crisis of nearly ten years ago, and more recently in the aftermath of the referendum on EU membership.”

 Sklaroff suggested that the FLA’s October numbers are likely to show asset finance new business up by 9pct (compared with the same month last year), consumer finance up by 10pct, and point of sale consumer car finance up by 5pct.  

 He described the industry’s influence with its regulators “is in equally good fettle”, reminding listeners that the FCA has back-tracked on “potentially damaging” proposals to exclude household income from affordability assessments. Additionally, the FCA has accepted much of the industry’s list of the provisions of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act which need to be reassessed (including consumer information, modifying agreements, unenforceability, and contract termination rights). The FCA’s long-awaited report on the motor finance market is now expected sometime early in the New Year.

 The Financial Ombudsman Service has invited the FLA to join the new advisory panels which will help it manage its new responsibility for a much larger segment of the SME finance market.

 Sklaroff added, “[The FLA has] explained to the FCA the huge amount of work going on in the market to ensure high standards of intermediary oversight and remuneration, provide more flexible training for point-of-sale staff, and promote good quality customer information and affordability assessment.”

 Full details of the current picture will be found in the FLA’s annual publication “Working For You”.

 Sklaroff closed the event, which was sponsored by White Oak UK. by thanking all the staff at Kean Street and the FLA Board for their hard work and continued support.

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