Our new rules on credit broking came into effect on 2 January 2015.
We have significant concerns about the practices of some credit brokers who charge upfront fees to consumers. Some 41 per cent of all the complaints received since 1 April by the FCA’s Consumer Credit Department relate to credit broking, and around 80 per cent of these are about online brokers charging upfront fees.
We are introducing rules to address those credit broking activities we feel are putting consumers at risk.
The rules in brief
- The rules will ban credit brokers from charging fees to customers, and from requesting customers’ payment details for that purpose unless they meet FCA requirements.
- These include that credit brokers must make sure customers are given clear information about who they are dealing with, what fee will be payable, and when and how the fee will be payable.
- Fee-charging brokers will need to notify the FCA, quarterly, of the websites they operate.
- All brokers will need to include their legal name (as it appears in the FCA Register) in all advertising and all correspondence with customers.
- Advertising must clearly state that the firm is a credit broker and not a lender; if the firm is both a credit broker and a lender, the advertising will need to make clear that they are advertising their broking services, not their lending.
- There are additional rules on cancellation rights for distance contracts (for example, online credit broking), including rights to a refund.
Our new rules on credit broking came into effect on 2 January 2015. All firms should read the rules carefully and should have made any necessary changes to their systems and procedures before 2 January.