What happens on 1 April 2014?

Much of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 will be repealed on 1 April 2014. Amendments made to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (and statutory instruments made under that Act) will come into force and be the basis for consumer credit regulation in the future.

At the same time, the group licence arrangements will cease, as will those for standard OFT consumer credit licences.

Responsibility for consumer credit will transfer from the OFT to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

After 1 April, consumer credit services will be known as credit-related regulated activities and you will either need to:

  • Be FCA authorised, with the appropriate permissions for the activities you wish to undertake; or
  • Be within the Institute’s transitional arrangements.

The transitional arrangements will seek to replicate, as far as possible, the activities that could be undertaken under the group licence and will apply to the same groups. However, our understanding is that a firm that is FCA authorised (either because it was before 1 April or held an OFT standard licence and became authorised at 1 April) will not be able to use these arrangements.

Although one option is to cease providing credit-related regulated activities, the information on this page aims to help you reach a decision depending on the category of firm that you are currently, ie:

  • Within the group licence - and not FCA authorised;
  • Within the group licence - and FCA authorised; or
  • Holder of a standard OFT licence.

Under our new Consumer Credit (Transitional Arrangements) Regulations, you will only be able to undertake the same activities (and in the same manner, ie, arising in the course of the practice of accountancy or acting as an insolvency practitioner) as you did before 1 April 2014.

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