Local authorities and authorisation

Local authorities that only offer certain consumer credit products don’t always need authorisation from us. Find out the details here.

If you’re a local authority, you can carry on certain regulated consumer activities and be exempt from our authorisation. Here are some examples.

Local authorities do not need authorisation to make loans that are:

  • without fees or charges
  • of less than £160 (Euro200)
  • over £60,260 (Euro75,000)
  • for hiring/leases where there is no obligation to purchase
  • to specific persons under a statutory provision at better-than-market rates

Consumer credit agreements are exempt if they are:

  • pawn agreements
  • overdrafts repayable within one month
  • credit repayable within three months where insignificant charges are payable
  • employer loans that are free of interest or at better-than-market rates
  • settlement agreements following court action
  • deferment of existing debts, without charge

Local authorities qualifying for exemptions

  • county councils
  • district councils
  • unitary councils
  • London borough councils
  • the Greater London Authority
  • the Common Council of the City of London
  • the Council of the Isles of Scilly
  • in Scotland, a local authority within the meaning of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
  • in Northern Ireland, a district council within the meaning of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972

All firms owned by a local authority need to be authorised or have interim permission to carry on consumer credit activities. Local authorities carrying out non-exempt regulated activities will obviously need to be authorised.

How to apply for authorisation

Apply for full permission from us. However, bear in mind that once authorised, you’ll be treated as if you have only limited permission.

Make sure you contact us to have your fee discounted.

Detailed information