Most businesses that offer goods or services on credit, lend money to consumers or provide debt solutions and advice to consumers will be carrying out consumer credit activities.
This includes credit card issuers, credit brokers, payday loan companies, pawnbrokers, businesses offering hire purchase agreements, log book lenders, peer-to-peer lenders, and debt management and collection firms.
If you are a new consumer credit firm – so did not have an OFT licence – you must apply for authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
If you or your firm held an OFT licence and registered for interim permission to offer consumer credit from 1 April 2014, when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over regulation, you need to apply for authorisation in your allocated application period.
If you held an OFT licence but exited the market by 1 April 2014 you should tell the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) you have stopped consumer credit activities.
Trading without a licence can have serious consequences as it is a criminal offence that can potentially result in a fine and/or imprisonment.