Regulated activities relating to the provision of credit information services and credit references
Produced in partnership with Jacqui Hatfield of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe UK LLP
Regulated activities relating to the provision of credit information services and credit references

The following Financial Services guidance note Produced in partnership with Jacqui Hatfield of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe UK LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Regulated activities relating to the provision of credit information services and credit references
  • What constitutes the regulated activity of providing credit information services under article 89A of the RAO?
  • What are the rules relating to the provision of credit references?
  • Is the activity being carried on by way of business?
  • Relevant exclusions and exemptions
  • Conduct of business requirements for credit information services firms
  • Are there any other issues for providers of credit information services to bear in mind?
  • Authorisation to perform credit information services
  • What type of firm would need to be authorised to carry on this regulated activity?

Since 1 April 2014, the regulation of consumer credit in the UK has been the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Regulation of consumer credit is governed by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000) and the Financial Services and Markets Act (Regulated Activities) Order 2001, SI 2001/544 (the RAO).

Under the RAO, the provision of credit information services is a regulated activity for which authorisation is required under FSMA 2000.

The RAO regulated activity of providing credit information services corresponds to what was previously 'category H' of the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) consumer credit licence categories (credit information services). Also, the RAO regulated activity of providing credit references corresponds to what was previously 'category I' of the OFT consumer credit licence categories. For more information as what are regulated activities, see Practice Note: What are regulated activities?

What constitutes the regulated activity of providing credit information services under article 89A of the RAO?

The regulated activity of providing credit information services is the taking of any of the following steps on behalf of an individual or 'relevant recipient of credit' or giving advice to an individual or 'relevant recipient of credit', as defined under SI 2001/544, art 89A(1)–(3):

  1. ascertaining whether a credit information agency holds information relevant to the financial standing of an individual or relevant recipient of credit

  2. ascertaining