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The Consumer Credit Crackdown: What It Means for Your Regulatory Remit

01 November 2017

by Jessica Williams

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It’s a time of skyrocketing personal debt: student loans stand at £100.5 billion… one in seven people are taking out 35-year mortgages… and perhaps most interesting of all, consumer credit has increased by 19% over the last five years. Subprime lending businesses are increasingly growing their share in the horizontal, and it’s all contributing to a landscape responsible for £1.6 trillion worth of national borrowing.

With the unprecedented growth of the consumer credit space, worrying reports have been emerging around the consistency of ethical selling and complaint-handling practices. In response, the FCA has issued a directive that businesses must address material non-compliance within the first line of defence. This crack down is impacting everyone from smaller companies to major players in the sector, as the industry collectively looks to instil best practice in its governance of risk.

Together, these factors have resulted in interesting activity within the regulatory hiring market. We are being instructed to scale-up compliance functions so our clients can drive quick and significant change in both their service delivery and conduct risk programmes. To achieve this, some businesses are redesigning their entire regulatory frameworks – and the urgency of these requirements has only meant good news for the contract market.

The immediacy of the FCA’s sanctions mean many companies are seeking contract talent with the availability and skillset to facilitate instant action. However, contractors are also being utilised beyond a project basis, with companies instructing them to map out the structures that will enable their work to be maintained long-term.

From a recruitment perspective, businesses have been adapting their talent acquisition to consider both temporary and permanent requirements. Our understanding of the demand for skilled first, second and third-line talent means that we are best-placed to answer the call for all candidates of this kind. What’s more, we work closely with our financial services clients to stay abreast of the latest FCA guidelines, while devising recruitment strategies that reflect the ever-evolving regulatory landscape.

For further insight on this market – or a confidential discussion regarding your hiring priorities – please contact Arun Cowan, on +44 (0) 161 694 0860, or arun.cowan@ojassociates.com.

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