At FCA's August Board meeting it made two instruments dealing with procedural aspects of the transfer of consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to FCA. The instruments:
- explain there will be a one-off fee for firms applying for an interim permission for consumer credit activities (excluding various non-commercial debt counselling and related activities which will, alongside credit unions, benefit from some concessions). This fee will be £350 for firms and £150 for sole traders. Each will get a 30% discount if they apply before 30 November 2013. FCA has confirmed that firms currently authorised by FCA will not automatically get interim permissions without having to register because it wants to ensure only active firms participate in the regime. In addition, the Government has decided there will be a system of rebates to firms transferring from OFT to FCA to ensure the costs of the transfer are proportionate. It will announce the details of the rebate later in the year; and
- set out what current secondary legislation relating to consumer credit will be "designated" as FCA rules. The Government gave FCA the power to designate limited legislation and make minor changes to make the legislation consistent with FCA's regulatory regime. FCA will use these powers to designate secondary legislation relating to:
- calculating the total charge for credit;
- exempting certain loans by certain bodies relating to buying or improving land; and
- declarations and statements relating to lending for business purposes or to high net worth individuals.
FCA has made changes to the Glossary and created a new Sourcebook, the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC), which will take effect on 1 April 2014 and includes the rules deriving from the current statutory instruments.
Following this announcement, FCA set up a webpage on which applicants can register for interim permission, and explaining how to apply. FCA will consult later in the year on the detail of its rules following the transfer. (Source: FCA Explains Consumer Credit Interim Fees, FCA Explains Designated Consumer Credit Legislation and FCA Sets Up Interim Permission Webpage)