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Is The UK Becoming Over-Regulated?

The UK boasts one of the strongest economies in the world, with investors, startups and companies from across the world on-shoring and settling in the UK.

In recent years, the UK has seen a number of scandals and developments that has led to various industries being slapped with further regulation and additional government involvement. In recent times, the likes of the City of London as well as payday lenders have received the attention of both the government and the Labour Party.

There although many industries do need strict and often rigorous regulatory frameworks to be in place for the protection of customers and companies, it has been suggested by people of most political persuasions that there can come a time where the long arm of government goes too far, and perhaps there is enough, if not too much regulation.

When it comes to industries and services like mortgages, pensions, investment and consumable goods, it is practically unarguable that there must be strict and unwavering regulation in place to ensure the interests of all parties are protected. However, various stakeholders across various industries are not so convinced.

Sefton Jameson of Wuffes commented: “Regulatory frameworks when it comes to things like vitamins, supplements and probiotics for dogs are essential. In past times, we saw the Horse Meat scandal as well as various other times where consumables were contaminated. Whether the UK’s path forward is forged inside or outside of the EU, it is important that there is logical regulation in place to protect consumers, be they human or otherwise.”

Other industry stakeholders and company owners are not as convinced. In the case of the likes of personal, short term and payday loans, when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced sweeping regulation for lenders, many, including the likes of industry giants like Wonga and Amigo fell by the wayside, with profits almost instantly wiped out.

Samuel Davies of kallyss.com commented on this: “Although it is hard to argue that industries like payday loans need some degree of regulation to reign in any nefarious companies and players within the industry, it is possible for regulation in an industry that is necessary to go too far. Although back in 2014 when UK regulations were brought in for the industry, many lenders needed reigning in, they didn’t necessarily need closing down, which is what has happened as a result of the very strict rules introduced for lenders.”

With regards to properties and mortgages, with the stakes so high, many in the industry are keen to see a degree of regulation in the space as it protects the lenders as well as the borrowers from otherwise falling into a debt spiral that can sadly end with borrowers losing their homes.

Mike Pewdley from ProperEaze said: “A property, particularly in the case of your home and residence is your castle and sanctuary. Although home and property owners should always be empowered to sell their property, be it residential or commercial as and when they like, there needs to be a safety net in place. Protecting the consumer and property owner should always be one of the main priorities. It is in no one and no company’s interest to see anyone and their family lose their home and thus, regulation on the likes of the mortgage market are fair and just.”

There have been calls from some in recent times, with the boom and expansion in online retail and e-commerce, for online retailers including the likes of Amazon and eBay to be subject to industry-specific and international taxation systems to help the high street. However, it has been suggested that such a tax would simply stifle investment.

Mary Jones of Cuddledown analysed the situation: “Although the high street in the UK is indeed in need of reinvigoration, particularly post-pandemic, penalising companies online would simply disincentive companies from competing with the likes of Amazon and eBay, who are big enough to absorb such a tax. For example, at present, if you want a specific product like a goose down duvet or a duck down pillow, you may well find an independent retailer ahead of a multinational and that is because of their efforts to market effectively. Taxing online retailers in this way will simply cause independent retailers to go under.”

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