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The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.

Consumer credit changes

Credit regulation is changing. The OFT will continue to regulate consumer credit until 31 March 2014. After this date, responsibility for consumer credit regulation will transfer to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you apply to the OFT for a Consumer Credit Licence on or after 21 February, please be aware that, due to the limited time remaining before the transfer of responsibility to the FCA, it is very likely that we will not be able to process your application to completion. It will pass to the FCA to take forward

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Applying for a new Consumer Credit Licence (CCL)?

 

New applicants applying before 31 March 2014

The following information should help you to make a decision on whether to wait until 1 April when the FCA becomes the regulator of consumer credit.

Due to this transfer of responsibility, please be aware that Wednesday 26 March 2014 will be the last day that applications can be made using the OFT's online forms.

If you do continue to apply to the OFT for a CCL before 31 March, you must be aware that the OFT is unlikely to make a final decision on your application. It will be passed to the FCA to take forward.

The FCA will assess applications against their standards, which are different from the OFT's. For more information see the Getting authorised from 1 April 2014 section of the FCA website.

FCA fees will vary depending on your business. The FCA will confirm what the application fees for consumer credit firms will be in March.

New applicants applying after 1 April 2014

If you choose to apply after 1 April 2014 then you will need to apply direct to the FCA for authorisation.

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Are you a Consumer Credit Licence holder?

All firms who hold a current CCL will only be able to trade under their existing CCL until the 31 March 2014. All CCLs expire on this date at midnight. All firms who wish to continue licensable activities after 31 March 2014 need to register with the FCA now for Interim Permission. More information on registering for Interim Permission is available on the FCA website.

Please be aware that you must maintain a valid OFT licence until 31 March 2014 to be granted an Interim Permission.

Maintenance charges

If you have a maintenance charge due before 31 March 2014, then you need to pay this to ensure that your licence stays valid. The Government has however announced there will be a programme of rebates to consumer credit licence holders to reflect the closure of the OFT regime on 31 March 2014. More information about rebates for consumer credit licence holders

Variations

If you are applying to vary your licence before 31 March please be aware that, due to the limited time remaining before the transfer of responsibility to the FCA, the OFT is unlikely to make a final decision on your application, which will be passed to the FCA to take forward.

The FCA will assess applications against their standards, which are different from the OFT's. For more information see the Getting authorised from 1 April 2014 section of the FCA website

From 1 April - If you want to change your registered name or trading name you can do this through the FCA's Interim Permission process. This will mean you do not have to pay a fee.

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Consumer credit licence rebates (10 December 2013)

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 have received an email or letter from the FCA about the scheme.  The FCA is responsible for calculating the precise rebate due to individual eligible firms and for paying it. For those firms who have registered for Interim Permission with the FCA the process will be largely automatic. Firms who have yet to obtain an Interim Permission, or do not intend doing so, can claim a rebate via the FCA website. More information about rebates for consumer credit licence holders.

 

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