1 February 2011 marked the end of the transitional period for the implementation of the Consumer Credit Directive by six sets of regulations. All those involved in lending money or making credit available to customers should ensure they are familiar with the obligations placed on them by the Consumer Credit Act and these new regulations.

The regulations contain a number of important changes to this legislation, not least as they severely restrict the availability of the useful "high net worth" exemption under the Consumer Credit Act. They also introduce a fundamental requirement on lenders to have in place a number of policies to inform their dealings with customers. To take one example, there is a move towards more detailed pre-contractual credit information in a prescribed form, rather than just legal credit agreements in a form that conform with the Act.

All this will mean that businesses who currently extend credit to customers on a basis only of Consumer Credit Act compliant agreements, will need to design and implement (in some cases entirely new) policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the broader and more pervasive new regime under the Consumer Credit Act and accompanying regulations driven out by the Directive.