Time is money: Avoid an own goal by preparing for the FCA in plenty of time

Time 6:02 am, October 7, 2014

suchWHEN the transfer window opens and closes before and during the football season, I find myself asking the same question 
on both deadline days: Why do football clubs leave it until the eleventh hour to do business, particularly when they have had all the days and weeks beforehand to achieve this?

It makes great entertainment for us football fans. We’re either glued to the television screen or checking our mobile phone apps which keep us up to date with the latest activities. Naturally of course, we’re mostly interested in our own clubs and the adrenalin certainly starts pumping whenever new names are mentioned.

Each and every transfer deadline brings about dramas where deals that looked guaranteed to go ahead fail to take place. Others look as though they’re about to happen just before the deadline but don’t materialise, leaving both clubs and players to carry on as they were.

As in football, the transfer window is about to open 
in our own industry. Depending on your geographical location and the activities planned within your business, you can take the opportunity to transfer your Interim Permissions with the FCA to full or limited permissions, thus enabling you to carry on completing consumer credit activities at the point of sale.

Unlike when applying for Interim Permission (which commenced last September running right through until March 31 this year), you only have a small window of opportunity in which to complete your application.

In May the FCA will have communicated the date when your ‘window’ falls. It will also have sent you notification as your opportunity came closer, and it will even send you further notification that your opportunity to apply for authorisation is nearing completion!

The difference in our window of opportunity compared with the Football League’s is quite simple: you need to take your opportunity as it arises as failure to do so will mean facing a reduction in the business that you are able to complete, potentially losing out to competitors.

Some competitors of First Response are talking to dealers about alternative options to Full Authorisation. These could include becoming an appointed representative, excluding yourself from the processing of finance applications, or even opening yourself to brokers purchasing your vehicles to bypass you from the regulation with them being listed as the seller on the finance documentation.

The introduction of the FCA was about protecting the consumer – not helping finance companies find alternative modes in which to continue their business operations so that existing profit figures are still achieved!

There is plenty of time before the first authorisation window opens to prepare yourself fully – thus negating the need for any drama. My advice is simple: Don’t leave things until the last minute, ask questions if you are unsure and make decisions for the right reasons. Also, don’t be fearful about life with our new regulator – it won’t be that bad!


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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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