The FCA takes over the regulation of the consumer credit market from the Office of Fair Trading on 1st April, 2014.
Leslie Titcomb, chief operating officer at the FCA, said: “Over 31,000 firms have already registered for interim permission placing us well ahead of schedule as we move closer to 1st April, when the FCA takes over the regulation of consumer credit. To put that into perspective, there are 27,000 firms currently supervised by the FCA. This has been a significant challenge so we have made a huge effort to work with industry so firms are aware of the forthcoming changes.
“Firms that haven’t yet signed up for an interim permission have until 1st April to do so; we would encourage people to register sooner rather than later.”
Before December firms received a discount on the cost of registering for interim permission. Firms can still register but they won’t qualify for the early bird discount.
Interim permission allows a firm to continue to offer consumer credit services until it is required to apply for full authorisation, or it needs to make a change to the type of activity it undertakes.
Interim permission costs £150 for sole traders and £350 for the majority of firms, with some exemptions.
Firms can begin applying for full authorisation from 1st April 2013. The fees for authorisation will be tiered, based on the income a business generates from its credit activities, ensuring that the smallest firms pay the lowest fees. The FCA recently set out fees proposals for consultation, which closes on 6 January. The consultation can be found on the FCA website.
Firms that paid for a consumer credit license from the OFT will be eligible for a rebate, which is being administered by the FCA. OFT licensees will receive an email from the FCA about the scheme by the end of the year.