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Press releases 2002 -

OFT increases consumer credit licence fees

PN 90/02     18 December 2002

An increase in consumer credit licence fees will come into effect from 6 January 2003.

Download the revised list of licensing fees in pdf format (42 kb). [document archived - 02/03/2010]

This is the first time that the OFT, which issues all consumer credit licences, has raised the charges since 1996. The increase reflects the rise in the cost of running the licensing system - in accordance with HM Treasury rules that the licensing process must be self-financing. There has also been a reduction in the number of applicants in recent years, which has resulted in falling revenues.

The fee for a new licence for sole traders will increase from £80 to £110. The fee for all other applicants will rise from £175 to £275. Variations to existing licences, such as change of name or category covered, will go up from £30 to £40. All other fees remain the same.

The fee for sole traders has increased less than for other applicants in order to reflect the relative volume of work involved with fewer sole traders applying for licences - there is less work involved in processing sole trader applications than for partnerships or Limited companies with non-permanent directors.

The Consumer Credit Act 1974 requires most businesses that offer goods or services on credit or lend money to be licensed by the OFT. Details of the new fees have been sent to traders requesting application forms and to licensees who are due to renew their licence. Trading Standards departments and other interested parties have also been notified of the changes and a general notice has been published in the London, Belfast and Edinburgh Gazettes.


1. Under Part III of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, a consumer credit licence is required to carry out the following activities:

  • consumer credit
  • consumer hire
  • credit brokerage
  • debt adjusting and debt counselling
  • debt collecting
  • credit reference agency

2. The OFT can refuse or revoke a licence if it decides that a trader is not fit to hold one.

3. The Consumer Credit Public Register is maintained by the OFT. The register documents traders that hold a licence and any action taken against them. It also details traders that have applied for a licence. Enquiries can be made to the Consumer Credit Licensing Bureau on 020 7211 8608.

4. Download a revised list of licensing fees in pdf format (42 kb). [document archived - 02/03/2010] Alternatively, get a hard copy from 020 7211 8606, or from the Consumer Credit Licensing Bureau, Craven House, 40 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London W5 2BS.

5. The OFT received 16,293 licence applications in financial year 2001/02. 15,586 licences were issued. 598 applications were withdrawn, surrendered or refused.

6. In this press release the functions of the Director General of Fair Trading (DGFT) under the Act are for simplicity described as the functions of 'the OFT'. The Enterprise Act 2002 will replace the office of the DGFT with the OFT, to which will be transferred the DGFT's functions. The relevant provisions of the Enterprise Act are not yet in force.

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