The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reached an agreement with debt purchasing and debt collection firms HFO Services Limited, Roxburghe (UK) Limited, HFO Capital Limited and their solicitor (“the Appellants”) to bring proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal (Consumer Credit) General Regulatory Chamber to an end.
In February 2014, the above entities referred a determination made by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the First-tier Tribunal. The OFT had refused to renew the consumer credit licences of the Appellants. As of 1 April 2014, the FCA replaced the OFT as the respondent in the proceedings when the FCA took over regulation of consumer credit. The determination has now been quashed without any finding by the First-tier Tribunal on the issue of fitness and propriety but without any acceptance by the FCA that the Appellants are fit and proper persons.
None of the Appellants are now FCA authorised to conduct any regulated activity. Consequently, HFO Services and HFO Capital can no longer hold any regulated consumer credit debt and therefore any consumer credit debt still held by HFO Services and HFO Capital has been written off or otherwise disposed of.
On any future application, the issue of fitness and propriety would need to be determined. This outcome does not prevent reference being made to the underlying facts which were gathered in the course of the OFT investigation should any party apply to the FCA for authorisation in the future.