Money laundering, fraud and other economic crime could run to billions of pounds per year in the UK. The Treasury Committee has found various regulatory and legislative failings in the way in which these crimes are being tackled. The Government’s July 2019 Economic Crime Plan draws together all the work being conducted by the public and private sector. The RUSI said that as at September 2020, 23% of actions in the plan had been completed, 59% were in progress, 9% were overdue and 6% either had no due date or had been paused.

  • Research Briefing

    There is growing concern that the debt collection practices of public sector bodies have fallen behind the standard of regulated creditors in the private sector. Practices have often been criticised as being unfair to the debtor and inefficient, possibly resulting in higher long-term costs to the taxpayer. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on debts owed to public bodies is not yet known, but it is likely to have led to further indebtedness.

  • Research Briefing

    Many people have been given unsuitable financial advice to transfer their valuable Defined Benefit pensions into less suitable and secure Defined Contribution schemes. Poor advice has led to growing compensation payments from the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Some have speculated that this issue may represent a large mis-selling scandal, the full scale of which may only come to light in the event of an economic downturn.

  • Research Briefing

    High-cost credit covers a range of financial products including bank overdrafts, loans, buy-now-pay-later and rent-to-own. Each product has its own benefits to consumers, but they also carry a risk of consumer harm, especially for vulnerable customers. This harm may include high repayment costs and a greater risk of problem debt. The regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has been taking action to reduce this harm and it has ongoing monitoring work in this area. This briefing describes the action that has been taken over recent years to stop unfair high-cost credit practices and gives information on the support available to those who find themselves in problem debt.

  • Research Briefing

    The number of bank branches in the UK roughly halved from 1986 to 2014 and closures are expected to continue. Concerns have been raised about the impacts on vulnerable people, small businesses and the viability of the cash system. While measures are in place to reduce the impact of branch closures, a number of parliamentary committees have concluded that more needs to be done.

  • Research Briefing

    MPs are often asked for help with personal finance issues. These can cover a wide variety of subjects, from difficulties opening a bank account to concerns about mortgage rates. This briefing sets out practical information to help you respond to common personal finance questions. It does not give the full policy background on each point. There are links to relevant documents throughout this briefing that provide more detail.

  • Research Briefing

    This briefing answers frequently asked questions about banking scams, and describes: the scale of the problem; the types of scam; what help is available for victims; and, government and industry action.

  • Research Briefing

    This paper shows that while HS2 will deliver significant capacity and connectivity improvements, there are alternatives available that could deal with the capacity constraints on the West Coast Main Line at a lower cost. This paper also shows that there is still uncertainty around the costs of HS2. The estimates at the time of the 2015 Spending Review put the cost at around £65 billion (in 2015 prices). The ambitions of HS2 Ltd are to reduce the costs of the infrastructure for Phase 2b by around 40% from the 2015 Spending Review estimate.