The Department of Finance has published a consultation paper on consumer protection on the sale of loan books.

The purpose of the consultation is to receive recommendations on how to ensure that borrowers whose loans are sold by a regulated entity to a currently unregulated entity maintain the same regulatory protection as they had prior to the sale. The Government is considering options on how best to achieve this including the enactment of legislation.

The proposed Consumer Protection on the Sale of Loan Books Bill 2014 is annexed to the paper. The Bill proposes, amongst other things, to redefine 'retail credit firms' under the Central Bank Act 1997 so as to include currently unregulated entities which purchase loan books. As a result, hitherto unregulated firms will need to seek authorisation from the Central Bank.

A number of questions concerning this approach are contained in the paper. The consultation period runs until 22 August 2014.