Money and Mental Health response to reports that ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ regulation could be shelved

17 July 2023

Sky News has reported that the government might shelve plans to introduce regulation of the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ industry.

These plans were first announced in February 2021.

Responding to these reports, Conor D’Arcy, Interim Chief Executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said:

“Dropping plans to regulate Buy Now Pay Later firms will leave many people at risk of financial harm, especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

“Buy Now Pay Later can be a helpful way to spread the cost of something, but firms make it extremely easy to take out credit, and the information about what happens if you miss payments is often buried in the small print. That leaves people at risk of falling into serious financial problems, particularly those with poor mental health, who might find it harder to control the impulse to spend or to understand the implications of taking this credit out.

“With so many people struggling to make ends meet due to the cost of living crisis, it’s vital that we make Buy Now Pay Later credit safer to use. The only way the government can do that is by introducing proper regulation — we urge it not to delay these plans.”


Key Money and Mental Health stats on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL):

  • In a nationally representative poll of 2,000 UK adults, over half of UK adults (56%) said that BNPL services make it too easy to get into debt.
  • Two in five (42%) of those with recent mental health problems said that BNPL has been harder to resist since lockdown.
  • Previous Money and Mental Health research showed that people with mental health problems are twice as likely to have fallen behind on payments for products bought with point of sale credit from a retailer.


For all media enquiries, please contact Brian Semple, Head of External Affairs, on 0207 848 1448 or [email protected].


Notes to Editors

  • The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is an independent charity set up by Martin Lewis, and committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems. We conduct research, develop practical policy solutions and work in partnership with both those providing services and those using them to find what really works.