A Guide to Consumer Credit Authorisation
- Price: £3.60
- Published: April 2015
- Type: Business Information Factsheet
- Format: PDF
The consumer credit industry is strictly regulated in order to protect consumers. It is a legal requirement that firms providing consumer credit or related services are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) unless they are exempt, for example because they act simply as the 'Appointed Representative' of another FCA-authorised firm. 'Firms' include sole traders, partnerships and not-for-profit organisations. Trading without authorisation or exemption is a criminal offence that may result in a custodial sentence or significant fine.
On 1st April 2014, the FCA took over the responsibility for consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The legal framework for regulation of consumer credit by the FCA is provided by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2013 and related legislation.
This factsheet explains how to become authorised by the FCA and details the process and criteria to be met.