In April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over regulation of consumer credit activities from the Office of Fair Training (OFT).

The FCA’s aims are to:

  • protect consumers
  • ensure the financial industry remains stable
  • and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.

These objectives are the foundation of their approach to regulating firms.

Firms authorised by the FCA, or with interim permission, are required to comply with the rules and guidance in the FCA Handbook, along with the retained provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA).

The new regime resulted in the creation of the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (known as CONC) which can be found in the Specialist Sourcebook section of the handbook. This sets out specific conduct requirements for firms operating in this sector and builds on/ adds to the obligations in the FCA’s Principles for Businesses (PRIN), the General Provisions (GEN) and the Senior Management Arrangements, and the Systems and Controls Sourcebook (SYSC) sections of the handbook.

CONC itself covers everything from advertising to the way firms help customers in financial difficulty. There are also additional rules specific to the High-cost short-term credit sector including the requirement to include a risk warning on financial promotions, restrictions on rollovers and the use of continuous payment authorities and a price cap in place to protect consumers from high fees and charges.

The FCA takes an active approach to how they supervise firms and ensure that their objectives are met. More details on how they supervise firms can be found in the Regulatory Processes section of the FCA Handbook. This is split out into two sections Supervision (SUP) and Decisions Procedure and Penalties Manual (DEPP) which explains their approach to enforcement.

In order to assist our members with FCA compliance, we have produced a number of free documents, which are accessible via the members’ only section of our website. These includes:

  • FCA’s Principles of business (PRIN);
  • FCA Senior Management Arrangements, Systems and Controls ‘SYSC’;
  • FCA General Provisions ‘GEN’;
  • Snapshot of the FCA Regime;

Members can also purchase the following document which is charged at £75 +VAT:

  • FCA Key Compliance Requirements – This is a comprehensive document which explains how to meet the FCA’s ongoing compliance requirements including Treating Customers Fairly, Monitoring, Reporting etc.

We also offer our members website and financial promotion review services, comprehensive training and the opportunity to purchase credit agreements at a BCCA discounted rate.

Members are also able to contact us for FCA compliance advice.