Chauntelle’s February pick of the blogs

By chauntelle.wright in on Feb 21, 2020

Hello All,

Am I the only one thinking that time needs to slow down a bit? I remember taking down the Christmas tree only yesterday and now it’s nearly March!

You may be forgiven for thinking that my “time-slip” has gone to my head when I recommend this first blog for February. By no means could I ever be described as IT proficient, however I do live with an IT geek. When I thought that I had been nodding politely in all the right places, it seems some of the information from “conversations” with my partner has actually penetrated my brain.

Here we go then, this month’s pick of the blogs is from Dr Henrike Mueller and Dr Florian Ostman, writing for the FCA’s blog ‘Insight’.

The article looks at Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the finance sector. (I now know the difference!)

The majority of decisions on banking loans are now not made by a human, but by a computer. As a financial adviser, I rely on AI decision making in insurance applications. Underwriting decisions to accept a client for insurance, and on what terms, is made by a computer. Many of us will have used Chatbots without knowing; when buying things on the internet most of the help chats are not run by people – you are chatting to a computer programme. But have you ever thought about how the AI make the decisions, and whether the algorithms produce conclusions that are unfair or discriminatory? What about how our data is used and who has access to it? The FCA and the Alan Turing Institute think that there needs to be much more transparency in how AI is used.

I actually found myself falling down the equivalent of a “wiki-spiral” with this article, because there are so many links that you can go on to read for more information. I found it absolutely fascinating. I hope you do too.

Read the full article here: https://www.fca.org.uk/insight/ai-transparency-financial-services-why-what-who-and-when

In other blogs:

Bailiffs are back in the news again with a cross party group of MPs, Peers and Campaigners requesting Government to act on bailiff reform, arguing self-regulation is not working.

An article by Meg van Rooyen at National Debtline argues that despite overwhelming evidence that self -regulation by the bailiff industry isn’t working, the only change that has been made is to introduce mandatory body worn cameras. Meg argues that this isn’t nearly enough.

http://www.moneyadvicetrustblog.org/2020/02/18/a-year-on-from-the-governments-call-for-evidence-on-bailiff-reform-body-worn-cameras-are-not-enough/

A similar article by Ed McDonagh from Citizens Advice also calls for an independent regulator for the bailiff industry.

https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/3-reasons-why-the-bailiff-code-of-practice-is-no-substitute-for-an-independent-regulator-e5c69c15aa2e

Have you watched the BBC documentary Universal Credit – Inside the Welfare State? What did you think? It’s not easy viewing, but I found myself wondering whether the people chosen to feature were really representative of UC claimants? It seems it wasn’t just me asking that question. Ella Abraham from Z2K says the documentary only shows the tip of the iceberg; and where were the sick and the disabled?

Read more here: https://www.z2k.org/latest/universal-credit-inside-the-welfare-state-or-at-least-that-bit-dwp-wants-you-to-see/

Another article on the impact of UC looks at court fines and deductions from benefit – a subject close to our hearts. Shelter research showed that maximum deductions from benefit are plunging people into poverty. A question about this has now been raised in the House of Commons. However, the reply from Government isn’t encouraging. Shelter is asking for advisers to contact them if they are supporting people with court fines who are on UC.

https://blog.shelter.org.uk/2020/02/the-governments-response-to-universal-credit-court-fine-deductions/

Have you read any good blogs recently? Let us know in our discussion forum.

In other news

Michael Egan has posted a very interesting discussion looking at what will happen to EU nationals returning home when they still have some outstanding debts in the UK. Have you advised anyone on debts from abroad, or leaving the UK still owing money?

https://www.i-m-a.org.uk/forums/topic/uk-debts-enforced-abroad-and-potential-imprisonment/

More blogs next month.

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