Regulated activities: consumer credit

A firm or business that wants to carry on regulated consumer credit activities will have to apply for authorisation. Find out more about the credit-related activities that require authorisation and whether you should apply for limited or full permission.

You need to establish whether any of your firm's activities are regulated. If they are you will have to apply for authorisation, unless there is an exemption or exclusion, and more specifically for limited or full permission.

The regulated consumer credit activities that require authorisation are:

Regulated consumer credit activities: limited permission

  • consumer hire (such as tool and car hire firms)
  • credit broking (other than by a domestic premises supplier (see COND 1.1A.5A (3)(d) and (3A)) where the sale of goods or non-financial services is the main business, and broking is a secondary activity to help finance the purchase of those goods or services (such as certain motor dealerships and high-street retailers that introduce customers to a finance provider)
  • credit broking in relation to the ‘Green Deal
  • credit broking in relation to consumer hire or hire purchase agreements
  • lending where the sale of goods or non-financial services is the main business, and there is no interest or charges and the agreements are not hire-purchase or conditional sale agreements (such as certain golf clubs or gyms allowing deferred payment for membership)
  • consumer credit lending by local authorities (where lending is within the scope of the Consumer Credit Directive)
  • not-for-profit bodies providing debt counselling, including those who also provide debt adjusting or credit information services
  • limited permission activities (other than not-for-profit bodies and for credit information services) do not cover activities that relate to agreements secured by legal mortgages on land

A firm that carries on the lending, secondary broking and/or consumer hire activities under a limited permission can also apply to carry on limited permission debt counselling, debt adjusting and credit information services.

Regulated consumer credit activities: full permission

  • credit broking where introducing customers to lenders is a main business activity
  • credit broking where the sale of goods or services takes place in the customer's home (what is known as 'domestic premises supplier')
  • debt administration and debt collection
  • Debt counselling and debt adjusting on a commercial basis
  • lending which is not limited permission (such as personal loans, credit cards, overdrafts, pawnbroking, hire-purchase or conditional sale agreements)
  • providing credit information services
  • providing credit reference agency services
  • peer-to-peer lending


Step 2: Possible exemptions from authorisation