Dr Sarah Brown discusses the regulation of consumer credit in the UK and the USA in podcast
“The Regulations of Consumer Credit: A Transatlantic Analysis”
In the podcast Dr Brown looked at the development of and contrast in UK and US regulatory policy in responses to consumer borrowing and how we manage the relationship between borrower and lender. The key policy themes that emerge are over-commitment to debt and integral consumer vulnerability with policy responses based in access to affordable credit and protection against exploitation, in terms of price and behaviour in relation to the consumer borrower. Empowerment of the consumer as a means of self-help through information provision is seen as important. Whilst there are differences between US and UK approaches essentially the regulators in both countries have objectives that are underpinned by the maintenance of a competitive market. The comparison illustrated that complex regulatory structures and extremes in policy and regulatory approach can result in less effective consumer protection, and that a balanced approach is essential.
With the impact of the pandemic on consumer income, the question of consumer debt and how credit is regulated has become ever more important. Our vulnerability as consumers has been exposed as, perhaps, never before and therefore consumer protection is key in helping consumers establish and maintain resilience to the impact of debt.
Dr Brown is an expert in consumer credit law and relationships; the regulation of financial services; personal insolvency and consumer law.