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Barclays joins the call for more buy now, pay later regulation

We've reached almost universal acceptance that change is needed.

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Antony Stephen/Barclays.

In what feels like almost universal acceptance of increasing buy now, pay later regulation, even high street bank Barclays joined in this morning with its own call.

After surveying 2,000 pay later shoppers, Barclays found 30 per cent were overwhelmed by the amount of buy now, pay later bills they had racked up.

Meanwhile, 25 per cent were concerned about their ability to repay the buy now, pay later bills coming in.

“Our research identifies the shortcomings of unregulated short-term interest-free credit options and highlights that people are still not clear on the repercussions of not making repayments,” said Antony Stephen, CEO of Barclays Partner Finance, who led the call for more pay later regulation.

Barclays believes all consumer credit products should be subject to the same level of regulation, to avoid an unnecessary two-tier regulatory framework that goes against the best interests of consumers.”

“We’re calling for more consistency in the regulation, with a common framework applying to all consumer credit products, and we are hopeful that HM Treasury’s review will deliver this.”

At this rate pretty much everyone in the industry is calling for additional pay later regulation, from the providers themselves to consumer groups and now high street banks.

Obviously, Barclays has significant skin in the game, with its Partner Finance product offering consumer loans via partners like Apple for when you’re buying a new iPhone.

As buy now, pay later grows in popularity it offers an alternative to these more traditional point-of-sale credit products provided by the likes of Barclays.

In terms of regulation, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer as the UK Treasury’s consultation on pay later has just closed, and it’ll be followed by an FCA consultation later this year before we find out which regulatory controls will be applied.

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