This week the Competition and Markets Authority has published its final guidance on the unfair contract terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which come into force on 1 October 2015.

REGULATORY   

CMA publishes retail banking market investigation working papers

The Competition and Markets Authority has published two working papers as part of the retail banking market investigation. They are:

The working papers include findings on the use of and charges for overdrafts. Comments can be made on the working papers by 21 August 2015.

CMA, 7 August 2015  FCA Firms website launches

The FCA has launched its FCA Firms website, which acts as a resource for all authorised firms and makes it easier for firms to find content that is relevant to them and their type of firm or business.

FCA, 6 August 2015

HM Treasury launches financial advice market review

HM Treasury has launched a review looking at how financial advice could work better for consumers and has also published accompanying terms of reference. The review is expected to report in time for the 2016 Budget. Amongst other matters, it will make proposals on the proportionality of rules and their impact on the affordability and availability of financial advice and products, while considering the opportunities and challenges presented by new and emerging technologies to provide cost-effective, efficient and user friendly advice service (e.g. robo-advice for lower value clients). The review will not consider debt advice and its focus is not expected to be on consumer credit.

HM Treasury, 3 August 2015 

UK 

CMA Unfair contract terms guidance

The Competition and Markets Authority has published its final guidance on the unfair contract terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This follows a consultation earlier this year and is in readiness for the coming into force on 1 October 2015 of those parts of the Act which concern unfair terms. Consumers entering into contracts on or after 1 October 2015 are protected under the Act, while those entered into it before remain protected under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999. The guidance is issued by the CMA as the UK’s national competition and consumer authority.

CMA, 31 July 2015

CASES

Court of Appeal finds no unfair relationship

In this case it was claimed that an unfair relationship had arisen between the borrower and lender because of the borrower's previous credit history and the fact that her business coach was a co-owner of the lender. The Court of Appeal upheld a decision at first instance that, on the facts, there was no abuse of position, undue influence or non-disclosure on the part of the lender. It did, however, allow the appeal as regards the award of interest at the contractual rate of 4% per month finding that the Judge had misapplied Section 93 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Post judgment interest was payable only at the statutory judgment rate.  McMullon v Secure the Bridge Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 884