Are you ready for the big change? Over the past 12 months our compliance team have been updating us on the impending transfer of consumer credit regulation from the OFT (Office for Fair Trading) to the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Until recently, the government has been slow to announce what the transfer entails, so it is taking us some time to understand the implications for our business and dealer support network.
The new regime takes over on April 1, 2014. The long- term effects are far from clear but what we do know is:
- – CCL (consumer credit licence) holders need to apply to the FCA for ‘interim permissions’ before the changeover date — if they don’t do this they will not be able to carry out credit activities after next April;
- – The cost for this is £150 for sole traders and £350 for others;
- – The OFT will continue to supervise firms until March 31 and it is sending out strong signals that it expects car dealers to have categories D and E on their licence.
We’ve also heard that the FCA decision to give interim permissions to businesses will include a review of their CCL so our advice is to make sure that your registered and principal offices, director names and trading names are all up to date.
Many changes can be done free via the OFT’s website but any variation involving a change of category or trading name will cost £80 each.
Finally, we would recommend that you do not underestimate the extent of this change because the FCA will have far more resources and power than the OFT — so the obtaining of interim permissions may only be the first of the requirements it places on all of us.
For further help or information contact your main finance provider or click here to visit the FCA website.