Determined to help millions of consumers improve their financial wellbeing, Aryza has recently partnered with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

The new partnership will support the CSJ’s newly launched programme of work, designed to uncover the less visible forms of problem debt and develop policy solutions for the UK Government and financial institutions to build a more inclusive and resilient society.

Supporting consumers

The demise of the payday lending industry offered welcome relief for consumers trapped in the cycle of never-ending debt repayments.

This reduction in credit supply has not, however, reduced consumer demand. Increasingly people are relying on friends, family, and more negative lender options and this trend is likely to accelerate further due to the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the CSJ’s research, an estimated 3.3 million people are currently in ‘severe’ debt, and the global pandemic has only exacerbated this, adding an additional £10 billion to the average UK household debt.

More responsible lending

The ways consumers are borrowing money are evolving and can be difficult to track.

CSJ data shows that consumers are borrowing more through schemes such as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) than ever before. The FCA reports that the BNPL industry nearly quadrupled in 2020, and with 5 million people using these products since the beginning of the pandemic, the market is now at £2.7 billion.

Those working in the industry must ensure that the right BNPL solutions are utilised to ensure that accurate and necessary checks are carried out prior to accepting consumers. Requirements such as specific purchase details, the customer’s personal and financial information and eligibility and vulnerability checks all help ensure a BNPL scheme is a viable option for each individual applicant.

Preventing illegal money lending

It is estimated that 732,000 people in the UK are using illegal money lending, equating to 12 per cent of households in the most deprived areas, and totalling around £700 million paid out annually.

The covert nature of illegal money lending means it is impossible to create a highly accurate estimate of how widespread a problem it is.

Similarly, much of the data around lending between friends and family is anecdotal, therefore a comprehensive breakdown of the impact of the UK’s ‘hidden debt’ crisis is almost impossible to obtain.

Aryza is proud to support the CSJ in its new partnership, as advancements are being made to develop a greater understanding of the severity of the hidden debt financial problem. This project aims to expose and address Britain’s multi-million pound illegal loan market, explore the rise in informal lending and develop credible policy solutions.

For more information about the Centre of Social Justice’s work, visit

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