The Bank of England is worried about this increase in car finance deals (largely due to personal contract plans (PCPs)) because of the implications for consumer borrowing; the FCA has concerns about transparency and conflicts of interest. However the FLA defends the growth in this market as a sustainable model.
Clearly not all these opinions can be right. But even if the regulators are on to something, their dilemma is to decide whether the problem is big enough to warrant action and if so what. The Bank/PRA will be working out what levers it could pull if needed, while the FCA will be looking for any unusual lending patterns.
At root, however, these are individual contracts between consumers and lenders, questions of affordability and trust. If there is a problem here, regulation as we understand it may not be the answer.
The value of finance deals used to buy new cars has soared to a new monthly record, according to latest figures.Motorists spent £3.6bn on car finance deals in March, a rise of 13% on the same month in 2016, the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) said.