A review of change and innovation in the Unsecured Credit Market (The Woolard Review)

Call for Input published
02/11/2020
Call for Input closed
01/12/2020
Woolard Review published
02/02/2021
02/02/2021

The FCA Board asked Christopher Woolard CBE, former Interim Chief Executive, to conduct a review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market. This is his report, including recommendations for the FCA and Government.

Read The Woolard Review (PDF)

Who this applies to:

  • consumer groups 
  • regulated and unregulated providers of credit
  • trade bodies 
  • retail businesses 
  • employers

Key recommendations

The Review sets out recommendations to the FCA, Government and other bodies. These include:

  • buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) products should be brought under FCA regulation as soon as possible
  • ensuring a healthy credit market is underpinned by good debt advice services
  • ensuring there is a sustained regulatory response to coronavirus (Covid-19) including through more prescriptive approach to forbearance
  • encouraging the growth of alternatives to high cost credit
  • building a better credit information market
  • ensuring that a healthy, sustainable credit market is built on regulation that focusses on good outcomes across the lifetime of a product

Background 

The Review was announced in September 2020. Details of the Review were published in October and issued a Call for Input in early November 2020.

The Review has heard a range of evidence from consumers, firms, Government and others to assess the impacts and implications of any changes in the market. The Review was assisted by an Advisory Panel.

Video: consumer views on the positives of buy-now pay-later

Video: consumer views on the potential risks of buy-now pay-later

Next steps

We have considered and accepted the recommendations of the Review directed to the FCA. Ensuring consumer credit markets work well is one of our five key priorities. We will build the Review’s recommendations into our business planning and will give further details of our response to the Review when our next Business Plan is published in April 2021. Where recommendations are directed at others, the FCA has urged them to act on the Review’s findings.

We will report on progress in a year’s time.

Page updates

02/02/2021: Publication added Woolard Review published and page updates