Yesterday I went to the launch of the FCA's excellent paper on the "Ageing population". There is a certain symmetry that the same day also saw Andrew Bailey, the FCA's CEO, talking about the indebted young.
Neither set of problems is exactly new, but it's surely good to see the regulator thoughtfully addressing the range of issues facing consumers of different ages and wealth. And it was also noticeable yesterday how much consensus there was across the industry and 3rd sector.
However, some big challenges remain, including these three:
1. How will the FCA enable over-burdened supervisors to harness this work and distil these concerns in their relationships with firms on the ground?
2. Can the industry, working with the 3rd sector, translate the positive work it has done on the ageing population into accelerated action?
3. Should firms and the regulator both be doing more (and more quickly) on credit card debt before it damages the reputation of both?
None of these challenges are easy , but neither will they go away, particularly given the likely path of the economy over the next few years. Both the industry and the FCA are likely to have to adapt to meet them.
There has been a clear shift in the generational pattern of wealth and income, and that translates into a greater indebtedness at a younger age.