The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
On 1 April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) assumed responsibility for consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (which ceased to exist). The FCA became the conduct supervisor for all regulated firms across the consumer credit sector, including (but not limited to), consumer lending, credit card issuers, debt management, credit brokerage, credit referencing, hire purchase firms, banks, financial advisers, pawnbrokers, mail order companies, debt collectors and payday loan lenders. The change in the regulator resulted in all firms previously licensed by the OFT, entering into a regulatory regime through which they were required to become authorised by the FCA or, if they were already authorised by the FCA, to vary their permission to cover the consumer credit related activities that they performed. OFT licenses lapsed, and all firms were required to obtain authorisation either by: (i) following the correct 'interim registration' procedure and becoming temporarily authorised by the FCA for the consumer credit activities via an 'interim permission', or (ii) if a firm was already FCA authorised, by an 'interim variation of permission' until the firm was called upon by the FCA to apply for a variation of permission by October 2016. The reason the transition from the OFT to the FCA occurred was in part, due to the financial crisis of 2007/2008 which prompted
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