The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced they will take over the regulation of consumer credit from the OFT on 1 April 2014.
Firms who currently hold a Consumer Credit Licence (CCL) will only be able to operate under their current licence until 31st March 2014. If you want to continue to operate after this time, it is essential that you take action now otherwise you risk acting illegally from 1 April 2014.
If you have a CCL and you wish to continue to operate after 31 March 2014, you will need to be registered with the FCA to do so. You can now register with the FCA for “interim permission” to carry on your regulated credit activities from 1 April 2014.
You can only register with the FCA if you have a valid OFT licence and your licence must be maintained until the FCA take over regulation, in order for “interim permission” to be granted.
You are likely to be charged a fee for registering with the FCA, but this is dependent on the type of firm and business undertaken. If you register on or before 30 November 2013, you will receive a 30% discount on the required fee, so acting soon could save you money.
If you need to change any details on your licence, for example, a change of directors or a change of address, you must contact the OFT.
From April 2014, if you have an interim permission, you will need to complete a more detailed application process for full authorisation. The FCA will confirm directly to you when this will be next year.
The FCA is also due to publish a consultation paper in the autumn, which will propose the rules that firms will need to follow under the new FCA regime for consumer credit.
At Hay & Kilner we have a team of Banking and Financial experts who can provide assistance to you with this process, to ensure that you are able to continue to do business under the new regulatory regime.