In April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will begin taking over the regulation of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), with an interim period of two years before assuming full control in 2016.
In July of last year the FCA wrote to firms which held consumer credit licences asking them to pay up to £350 for an interim licence to cover the period from April 2014 to April 2016.
However quite of few members contacted us to quite rightly complain about being asked to pay for an interim licence having already forked out for so-called indefinite licences.
Following its consultation about the regime change, the FCA announced it would issue rebates in August last year and last month the government set out how these rebates will be worked out and paid. The refunds will be based on the amount of time left on holders' licenses ahead of the change to the regime taking effect from 31 March 2014.
Most licensees will have received an email from the FCA about the rebate scheme last month, which will explain how the rebates will work. If the FCA don't hold an email address for your firm, we will write to you in the New Year.
If you are eligible, you will either automatically receive your rebate or you will need to apply to receive it:
- The FCA will post cheques from January 2014 onwards to eligible firms that have registered for interim permission, or who have after 31 December 2013 been licensed by the OFT or paid a maintenance charge to the OFT.
- Other eligible firms will need to apply online. The FCA has said that you should be able to do this from 17 January 2014.
More detailed information is available on the FCA website.