CP20/21: Breathing Space Regulations: changes to our Handbook

Open consultation
Consultation closes

We’re consulting on some minor changes to our Handbook resulting from regulations on problem debt that are expected to come into force in England and Wales in May 2021.

Read CP20/21

Why we’re consulting

The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (the Breathing Space Regulations) will give people in problem debt the right to legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days. This gives them time to receive advice and potentially enter an appropriate scheme to resolve their debt. 

We want to make sure firms have clarity on how our rules interact with these Regulations. 

Who this applies to

This consultation applies particularly to consumer credit lenders and debt collectors, but is relevant to all regulated firms that need to comply with both our Handbook and the Regulations. It’s also relevant to interested consumer groups and local authorities that give debt advice to consumers in England and Wales.

Background to our approach

There are some areas in our Handbook where we think it’s necessary to clarify how our rules apply where the Regulations also apply, and avoid duplicating the effects of the Regulations in a disproportionate way.

This consultation invites responses on the changes we propose to make to our Handbook. It does not advise on interpreting or applying the Regulations. The Government intends to publish guidance on the Regulations for creditors and organisations giving debt advice.

Respond to this consultation

Online response form

Next steps

We’re asking for comments on this consultation by 6 January 2021. Complete the online response form above, email us or write to: Emma Thomas, Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London E20 1JN.