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Financial Conduct Authority

How Do People See the Work of Enforcement Officers?

Traditionally, people have always been terrified of “the bailiffs”. They’ve been seen as people who can descend on you and use strong-arm tactics to seize your property and leave you destitute. That’s a very Dickensian picture, and while it may have once been true, enforcement officers (as they’re more correctly called) are carefully regulated today. And a recent survey showed that 83% o
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Buy Now Pay Later — An Opportunity or a Trap?

In difficult times like these, resorting to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) can seem like a lifesaver. Used carefully and with full understanding, it can be a good way of spreading costs for items you can’t immediately afford. The problem is that many consumers don’t fully understand the terms and, as recent research by TotallyMoney shows, repayments can very quickly build up. What Is Buy Now Pay Later? BNPL is
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Crisis in Private Rentals — Bad News for Landlords and Tenants

Figures just out show that private rents increased in the past 12 months at a rate well above inflation. At the same time, as prospects seem to be diminishing of the renters reform bill passing before the election, record numbers of tenants are being forced to move. It might seem at a casual glance that this is all great news for buy-to-let owners, but it’s actually not that simple. If you’re a private la
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Are You Ready for the Changes in Employment Law?

If you employ people in your business, you already have plenty of things to remember for their terms of employment. Well, since 6th April there are two more — and not being ready for them could land you in trouble. Changes to Flexible Working Rules The Covid lockdown finally put paid to the already dying traditional model of working, where everyone came into a workplace and stayed from nine till five. Depending on th
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Business Loans and Personal Guarantees

Loans can be essential for the growth of small businesses, and as long as they’re managed carefully, they’re entirely positive. Investing for growth is a way that SMEs can lead the economy out of its current stagnation — but there’s a problem. Banks are increasingly asking directors of small businesses to provide personal guarantees for loans, often putting their homes on the line. The Federation of
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FCA Ban for Debt Packagers Charging Referral Fees

In these times of financial stress, large numbers of people, both consumers and small business owners, are seeking debt advice. A good deal of the advice out there is excellent, but there are exceptions. There’s been concern expressed for some time about the referral fees charged by debt packaging companies and whether this creates bad advice. It seems that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) share this concern, an
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Cryptocurrency and Insolvency — What’s the Future?

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and many others, have being growing in popularity for several years, but have posed a challenge in several legal areas. This has included insolvency laws. After all, how can you include as an asset something that’s not only non-physical, but also anonymous? However, English law has recently started trying to define cryptocurrencies as assets, so what does that mean for insolvency law? T
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Client Money Protection Schemes — What Can You Expect from a Letting Agent?

When you’re selecting a letting agent to manage your rental properties, it’s vital to pick the right one. There are plenty of good agencies around, but unfortunately not every agency meets the minimum standards. Picking the wrong one could leave you in financial trouble. No doubt you have a list of questions for any prospective letting agency, but does this include whether they’re a member of a client money protectio
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Improving Financial Outcomes — The FCA’s Three-Year Strategy

Most people would agree that the financial sector has been in dire need of more targeted regulation — and, on the whole, those companies that have always operated ethically would also agree. In a sector tarnished by everything from the LIBOR scandal to consumer scams, tougher regulations should allow firms already meeting or exceeding those standards to get a head-start. What’s the Background to the Strategy? S
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You Could Be Disqualified as a Director for Failure to Keep Accounts

You have a lot on your plate as a business owner, and keeping your accounts up to date might seem like something that can be put off till you have more time. This is unwise, even if nothing goes wrong, but there are circumstances when getting caught with your accounts undone could lead to disqualification as a Director. The Case of Mitchell Smith The government has recently announced the disqualification of Mitchell
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