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Laybuy launches UK-first BNPL Code of Practice

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Laybuythe leading Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, has today published an initial draft of the first Code of Practice for members of the BNPL sector in the UKdesigned to set minimum standards for the provision of BNPL products or services.

Drafted by Laybuy, the Code of Practice is a voluntary agreement between BNPL providers, based upon 18 principles that prioritisthe highest standards of customer service, will ensure a customer-focused approach to the design and marketing of BNPL products, and support compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.

Under the core principles set out in the Code of Practice, signatories agree to: 

  • Always act fairly and honestly, be ethical and treat customers reasonably in all dealings
  • Comply with obligations under the law and the Code of Practice, acting in a way that is consistent with good practice
  • Ensure advertising, terms and conditions, and repayment information are all presented clearly
  • Initially assess, and continue to assess, the suitability of a BNPL product for every customer that uses the service
  • Comply with the Standards of Lending Practice when recovering a debt
  • Provide financial hardship assistanceincluding freezing repayments and late fees while finding an alternative payment arrangement
  • Handle complaints promptly and fairly and, if an agreement cannot be reachedprovide customers with information on ways to resolve disputes

To the extent practicable, this code is aligned with the commitments made by regulatory and industry bodies in the UK. This includes, but is not limited to, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) rules on financial promotions and communications with customers and other relevant FCA guidance and regulations; and the FCA and Lending Standards Board’s (LSB) Standards of Lending Practice. It also notes the ongoing review of the future regulation of the unsecured credit market and commits to maintaining alignment with regulatory guidance and requirements as is appropriate for BNPL.

The publication of this Code of Practice in the UK marks Laybuy’s second move toward establishing an environment of best practice within the BNPL sector, which upholds customer values and reflects their expectations. Earlier this year, Laybuy launched a similar Code of Practice tailored to New Zealand’s BNPL sector.

Gary Rohloff, managing director and co-founder, LaybuyLaybuy was established to help consumers avoid the traps of high-interest credit debt and help families better manage their budgets by allowing them to stagger their payments interest-free. As one of the UK’s largest BNPL providers, we feel very strongly that establishing a code of conduct which prioritises and protects consumers is the right thing to do.

“While Laybuy already prides itself on operating to the highest standards, we recognise that, in lieu of formal regulation, we have an obligation to help ensure the sector is acting fairly, openly and responsibly. This means taking a transparent and customer-focused approach to the design and marketing of BNPL products and supporting compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.”

“The Code builds in a regular review process, including public consultation, to ensure it continues to promote the highest industry standards and builds best practice across the BNPL industry. As part of this review, we will make sure it continues to align with any regulatory guidance and requirements.”

“While we have taken the lead and published a draft Code of Practice, we want to work with other BNPL players as we further progress its developmentThis will help ensure that we see a final Code of Practice that is truly representative and adhered to by the sector, but this does require input from other major players in the space.

“We hope our peers share Laybuy’s values and accept our invitation to contribute to the Code’s development. Together, we can create an industry leading standard that will help protect the interests of rapidly increasing number of UK consumers taking advantage of benefits of BNPL.”

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