Consumer credit regulation – Group licence

(The following extract is included for information purposes only – the Institute’s Group Licence has now ceased)

The Consumer Credit Act 1974 requires those that carry on a consumer credit business (a business providing credit or otherwise being a creditor), a consumer hire business or an ancillary credit business to hold a consumer credit licence from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). This may not be necessary if the person(s) carrying on the licensable activity is (are) covered by an appropriate group licence.

What is a group licence?

Group licences are granted to allow the members of the group who are defined in the group licence to carry out those credit – and/or ancillary credit - activities specified on the licence, without the need for an individual OFT licence. The key point is that credit activities are not the main business of the members of the group.

Chartered Accountants Ireland has been granted such a licence by the OFT and it is set out below.

Guidance for those undertaking consumer credit activities

Any member covered by our group licence needs to have the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience, business practices and procedures, to be competent to engage in the specific licensable activities that it undertakes.

The OFT publishes general and sector-specific guidance and it is expected that our members will ensure that they are familiar with – and adhere to – relevant OFT guidance. The following guidance can be downloaded from the OFT's website:

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