CAB News 07 June 2019

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CAB News 07 June 2019

Friday 07 June 2019

Our comment on the Financial Conduct Authority’s announcement that banks will be banned for charging more for unarranged overdrafts has appeared in a number of outlets.

National

Debt

Regulator pushes ahead with overhaul of UK’s £2.4bn overdraft market

Financial Times, 07/06/2019, Caroline Binham

The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed that from April 2020 banks will be banned from charging more for unarranged than planned overdrafts and will be required to advertise the products in clearer ways, including with annual percentage rates to help compare them against other products.

Gillian Guy said the FCA rules should “help thousands of people from getting trapped in a debt spiral”. Gillian enercontinued: “Many people who seek our help with overdraft problems have had trouble understanding the way the fees are calculated. The FCA’s changes will simplify charging structures and lower the cost of these products for consumers.”

Our statement also appeared in the BBC.

Trade

Energy

Setting the bar for RIIO2: How low can networks go?

Utility Week, 06/06/2019, Tom Grimwood

After Ofgem’s announcement that baseline returns will fall to the “lowest ever” level during the RIIO2 price controls, Utility Week seeks the response from energy networks.

The article mentions that Citizens Advice has pushed for regulators to limit the excess profits that energy networks have been able to make.

Head of Energy Networks and Systems, Stew Horne says: “What we’ve been advocating for is regulators to stop forecasting and use the market evidence that’s available and that’s what Ofgem has done. What’s really important now is they hold their nerve in the face of what’s likely to be quite formidable industry lobbying and actually deliver on this for consumers in the next price control.”

Money

Are insurance proceeds taxable income

Express Online, 05/06/2019, Jess Sheldon

Our web advice on taxable income was used for a feature on the Daily Express’s website about whether an insurance payouts count.

“You only pay tax on your taxable income so you do not want to include any non-taxable income in your calculations,” it read.

Our advice says insurance benefits if you are sick, disabled, or unemployed, are non-taxable.

Legal help

In-house legal team plays key role in launch of free domestic violence legal advice service

Local Government Lawyer, 03/06/2019

The in-house legal team at Barking & Dagenham Council has provided a grant to set up a service providing free, independent and confidential advice to residents who are experiencing or are affected by domestic violence. The council will work jointly with Citizens Advice on the delivery of ‘DV FLAG East.’

Pip Salvador-Jones, Chief Officer Citizens Advice Barking & Dagenham said: “The importance of DV Flag East service is that it’s local – local family solicitors are advising local people on domestic abuse issues every day, they know our local community and how the local police and court systems work.”

Housing

Renters to save hundreds as letting fees banned

Sky News, 01/06/2019

The Tenant Fees Act means renters will no longer have to pay fees that add up to £13 million every month in England, meaning potential savings of hundreds of pounds for individuals and families.

Citizens Advice is hoping more laws will follow to further aid renters, including a reduction in the amount of cash required for a deposit from six weeks of rent to five weeks.

Gillian Guy said: “The end of these uncompetitive and unfair letting fees is a real win for renters.The new law means families and other renters don’t have to hand over hundreds of pounds every time they move home. We look forward to working with the government to further strengthen the hand of renters in a market where they have little bargaining power.”

The article also appeared in Independent (p.20), The Sun (p.22), i (p.16), Metro, Guardian, and City AM, as well as a range of broadcast.

Regional

Does my ex-employer have to give a reference?

Carlisle News & Star, 31/05/2019, p.25

Andy Auld from Citizens Advice Carlisle and Eden advises on whether employers have to give references. Andy advises your employer doesn’t have to give you a reference unless your contract says they will. Andy also warns that “if you’ve lost out on a job because your employer gave you an unfair reference, you might be able to take them to court.”

In other news

Domestic abuse survivors ‘more at risk of serious mental illness.’

A study has shown an “alarming rise” in self harm.

Rising rents mean young people are less likely to move to UK cities where average salaries are higher, a report indicates.

Sure Start centres, aimed at improving early years health and education in England, brought “big benefits for children’s health” but face large cuts.