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Advisers nervous as consumer credit licence refund still unconfirmed

  • 29/11/2013
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Advisers nervous as consumer credit licence refund still unconfirmed
Mortgage brokers holding ‘lifetime’ Consumer Credit Licences continue to face uncertainty on the details of their refund as the deadline to apply for a discounted interim FCA licence nears.

Brokers and others holding a CCL licence from the Office of Fair Trading will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority from April 2014. Brokers have until 30 November to purchase an interim FCA licence at a discount.

Mortgage Solutions understands a refund for licence-holders will go ahead. However, neither the Financial Conduct Authority and the OFT was willing to comment on the issue.

An announcement on the refund is expected from the Treasury. However, at time of publication, the Treasury was unable to comment.

CA Mortgage Services owner Ian Rogers paid £1,500 for his original licence from the OFT, before paying the five-yearly maintenance fee of £640. He has also paid £240 to the FCA for an interim licence.

He said it is “only right and fair” the government refunds the original licence fee and the maintenance fee: “An answer as to how much the refund will be and when and how it will be paid would put a lot of people’s minds at ease.”

The question of refunds has been a hot topic on broker forums. Broker forum Cherry director Donna Hopton said: “To have left people with this confusion and worry for so long is utterly unacceptable.”

Any professional introducing a consumer to a third party so they can obtain credit must hold a Category C Consumer Credit Licence. This applies to most financial advisers, and also includes introducers to other credit brokers. Debt advisers may need additional licences.

From April 2014, the FCA will take over the regulation of consumer credit. OFT licence holders who wish to carry on their activities after April 2014 must register for interim permission. The fee for most firms is £350.

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