OFT Consumer Credit Licence
If you have not yet submitted your application to the OFT for a consumer credit licence and need to do so, please read carefully ....
The OFT has recently issued changes to the consumer credit licencing regime to include information on high and low risk consumer credit licence applications.
high risk applications
If an application for a licence in a high risk category is received by the OFT before 31 March 2014, the OFT will process the application as far as possible in the time remaining, before 1 April 2014 deadline. If the OFT is unable to process an application to completion, it will pass on the remaining application to the FCA to take forward. If this occurs, the FCA will assess applications in line with its authorisation regime, which will be very different from the OFT's current standards. With regard to fees, the FCA are yet to confirm the application fees for consumer credit firms and will do so in a policy statement expected in March 2014.
low risk applications
The OFT has announced that it still has time to process low risk licence applications before the transfer of regulation to the FCA, since 90% of such applications are processed within 25 working days. It is likely, however, that applications submitted to the OFT after 21 February 2014 will transfer to the FCA. As with the high risk applications, if the OFT does not take a decision on an application by 31 March 2014, it will transfer that application to the FCA for it to make its own assessment and decide whether or not to grant authorisation based on the new regime.
If a decision on an application is made by the OFT before the 31 March 2014 and that application is granted, that firm will also need to register with the FCA for interim permission to continue to carry on licensable activities from 1 April 2014 until fully authorised by the FCA.