The Financial Conduct Authority will take over regulation of consumer credit from the OFT on 1 April 2014.
All firms who currently hold a Consumer Credit Licence (CCL) will only be able to trade under their existing CCL until the 31 March 2014. All consumer credit licences expire on this date at midnight and if you have not taken action you will not be able to continue your licensable activities.
All firms who wish to continue trading after 31 March 2014 will need to be registered with the FCA. From 2 September 2013, current OFT licence holders can register with the FCA for 'interim permission' to carry on regulated activities from 1 April 2014.
More information on applying for interim permission is available on the FCA website. Current licence holders should also receive a pack from the FCA in early September explaining these changes.
Please be aware that you must maintain a valid OFT licence to apply for an interim permission. If you need to change details on your licence, such as a change of address, you will need to let the OFT know. You need to do this even if you have already told the FCA of these changes. Details on how to do this can be found on our changing your details page.
As part of a fair and proportionate transfer of consumer credit regulation, the government, having consulted the OFT and FCA, has decided that there will be a programme of rebates to consumer credit licence holders to reflect the closure of the OFT regime at 31 March 2014.
Most OFT licensees will receive an email from the FCA about the scheme in the coming weeks. Where the FCA does not hold an email address for a firm, it will write to the firm in the New Year. The first cheques will be issued by the end of this year. The FCA will be responsible for calculating the precise rebate due to individual firms.
To keep up-to-date about what you'll need to do and when, sign up to receive information by email.
The transfer of regulation from the OFT to the FCA is part of the Government's programme of regulatory changes for financial services. This brings conduct of business regulation under a single financial services regulator.
The FCA will take a different approach to regulation from the OFT. FCA and the Government have published their initial proposals for how this new approach will work. You can find information about this on the FCA website.
3 October 2013: The FCA has published a consultation paper setting out its proposed rules for the consumer credit market. You can find out more on the FCA website(CP13/10 Proposals for consumer credit regime).
31 October 2013: The FCA has published a consultation paper on proposed changes to the way it levies fees, including how much firms will be charged to be authorised to offer consumer credit services. Find out more on the FCA website (CP13/14 Regulatory fees and levies).
All licensed credit businesses should have received a joint letter dated 15 July 2013 (pdf 121kb) from the OFT and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This letter gave notice of the forthcoming changes to the consumer credit regulation regime and gave details on the FCA's 'interim permission' to carry on regulated activities from 1 April 2014.
Back to: Credit licensing