31 March 2014

Consumer credit licences all expire


If you haven't acted, your consumer credit activities are now illegal


All licences granted by the OFT under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 lapse at midnight tonight. That includes the group licence granted to all solicitors.
 
From tomorrow (1 April 2014), consumer credit businesses - including ancillary activities such as credit brokerage and debt collection - require authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority. If you haven't already applied for interim authorisation, you will need to stop carrying on the regulated activity until you have gone through the application process - likely to take some months.
 
There is no general permission for solicitors, so those engaged in consumer credit activities, including debt collection from consumers, now have to be dual-regulated by the FCA and the SRA (and pay two sets of fees for the privilege). Will consumers be any better off? No, of course not.


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