PS14/3: Final rules for consumer credit firms

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We have published our policy statement about our detailed rules for consumer credit firms. We take over the regulation of around 50,000 consumer credit firms from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on 1 April 2014.

Why are we publishing this policy statement?

Last October we published a consultation paper outlining our proposals. These included setting higher standards for high-cost short-term credit, including payday lending, and debt management firms.

We received around 300 responses to our consultation, along with feedback from ten roadshows that we held across the country. Those who responded generally welcomed our approach to regulating consumer credit and the proposals have not been significantly changed.

We are now publishing our final rules. While we have carried across many standards from the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) and the OFT guidance, we have set higher standards for payday and other high-cost short-term lenders and for debt management firms.

We have made some changes to our proposals, including amending the risk warning that high-cost short-term lenders will have to include on adverts. We have also clarified our rules on continuous payment authorities to allow for high-cost short-term loans repaid by instalments.

Policy statement PS14/3

Who should read this paper?

This policy statement will interest:

  • firms that currently hold individual credit licences or are covered by group licences issued by the OFT under the CCA
  • firms that are considering carrying out consumer credit activities
  • operators of peer-to-peer platforms
  • trade bodies representing consumer credit firms
  • consumer organisations
  • not-for-profit bodies providing debt counselling, debt adjusting and credit information services
  • firms that have registered for interim permission
  • local authorities that carry on lending within the scope of the Consumer Credit Directive
  • other bodies currently involved in regulating consumer credit

It will also interest consumers. Anyone who has taken out a loan, used a credit card, had difficulties paying back debt, or looked for advice on debt problems may want to see how we will regulate consumer credit firms

Next steps

Tables 1.3 and 1.4 in Chapter 1 of our policy statement set out the dates our new rules come into effect.

Need more information?

We have also published a guide for firms to help them prepare for the transfer of regulation from the OFT to the FCA.

We have web pages for consumer credit firms and we will be holding webinars and broadcasting video tutorials to provide more help and information on our approach to regulating consumer credit.