CaaS Provides the Perfect Plimsoll Line

A few months ago Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision for retail and authorisations at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that a worrying number of householders may be “in too deep” with their borrowing.

But how deep is too deep? Read more

Encouraging response to the Big View pilot

“I’ve tried to get help but there’s a 10 week waiting list to see a Money Advisor.”

“I am getting so many final warning letters that I’ve simply stopped opening them.”

“Interest and charges are going up every day. I don’t even know how much I owe now.”

“I’m very anxious and my health is suffering.”

These are just some of the cries for help from people in Glasgow who are struggling with debt and have reached a point of crisis. I know that, because over the last few months we have spent a lot of time at Castlight talking to people about debt and we have listened, with real concern, to their stories.

And I’m really proud to be able to say that we channelled that concern into action and last month partnered with the Big Issue Invest (BII) and Advice Direct Scotland (ADS) to launch an affordability tool, specifically designed to empower people struggling with debt to take control of their own data and get their lives back on track.

The tool we developed is a version of our Affordability Passport, called the Big View. It’s at a pilot stage just now, accessible through the ADS helpline in Glasgow, but the initial signs are very encouraging.

360-Degree View of Finances

The way The Big View works is similar to the Affordability Passport. It uses the same open banking technology to allow users to get an in-depth, 360-degree view of their finances. In just a few clicks, the user’s financial position is set out in over 150 clear categories of income, debt, discretionary and non-discretionary spending.

If the user wishes, he or she can choose to share the Big View report with an ADS adviser who will then work with them to interpret the findings and develop solutions.

For ADS advisers the Big View is transformative. The Big View report will immediately flag up critical debt cases and therefore ensure that the people who need help the most can be helped quickest. Advisers have the data that allows them to prioritise and they also have detailed, accurate information on which to base their advice. They don’t have to rely on information given to them by the client – who may well have a pile of those unopened final warning letters on the kitchen table.

Path Out of Debt

Since the Big View launched last month, I know there are now people in my city, getting up in the morning, without the oppression of debt anxiety pressing down on them. They may not be clear of debt yet, but the path out of debt has been charted and they are now in control. That’s a very good start.

Charities and other organisations in the debt space consistently report there are currently over 8 million adults in the UK who have a problem with debt. That’s one in six adults.

I am confident that the Big View will prove to be instrumental in reducing that deeply worrying statistic. We are encouraged by the success of the Glasgow pilot so far and are looking forward to moving on to roll out the Big View throughout the UK.

For more information, visit, or tweet @Castlight using the hashtag #TheBigView.

Financial inclusion in sight for UK’s renters

We have been following the journey of Lord Bird’s Creditworthiness Assessment Bill through the parliamentary process and I was very thrilled to see it progress through the committee stage at the end of last week, with widespread support and no amendments. Read more

The Left Behind Generation Of “Second Steppers”

Gross mortgage lending in 2018 has been predicted to rise for the eighth year in a row to reach its highest level since 2007, according to the fifth annual market review and forecast from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association’s (IMLA), published today. Read more

ONS and Castlight track consumer spending

Women’s leggings and mashed potato will now be used instead of pork pies and lager sold in nightclubs to help calculate the cost of living in the UK. These changes, reported by the BBC, are part of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) annual review of the basket of goods used to measure the UK’s inflation rate. Read more

FCA Warns Second Charge Lenders to Review Affordability Checks

Mortgage Strategy has published a story today revealing that the FCA has criticised poor affordability checks in the second charge market, and details the industry’s failings in a “dear CEO” open letter to all second charge lender executives. Read more

KYC – As Easy As ABC

A number 3 as usual, sir? Your usual table Mrs Jones? Whether its a quick trip to the barber or a regular visit to the local Indian restaurant, we appreciate it when people who are providing us with a service know us and what we like. We feel we are in the hands of professionals and that they care. Read more

Acute Debt Must Never Be The End Of The World

Why Castlight shines a light on debt prevention.



This apparently is the formula behind the calculation which pinpointed this year’s Blue Monday – the day in January claimed to be the most depressing of the year. Read more

Creditworthiness is this week’s Big Issue

Lord Bird’s Creditworthiness Assessment Bill 2017-19 will get its second reading in parliament on Friday and the Castlight team will be following its progress carefully. Read more

Creditworthiness is on a Journey, but it needs a Passport

Next week the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill 2017-19 gets its second reading. For the UK’s 11 million renters, this is a bill, which if passed, will level the playing field with mortgage payers. Read more