News release

FCA agrees to consumer credit extension

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has agreed to our request for another extension to the transitional arrangements for regulation of consumer credit activities.

We asked for the extension to give us more time to plan the best way forward for regulating law firms that carry out consumer credit work. Our Board agreed to make the request at its meeting today to which the FCA has agreed. The transitional period, previously due to end on 1 April 2015, will now run until 31 October 2015.

Enid Rowlands, Chair of the SRA Board, said: "We are committed to finding the best possible solution for law firms and the users of legal services. Moving responsibility for consumer credit regulation from the OFT to the FCA is an opportunity to review how oversight of the work of law firms engaged in various forms of consumer credit activity should be delivered.

"We have had open, constructive and positive discussions with the FCA about how our differing models of regulation can work together to provide proportionate and effective protection. However, this is a complex and important area and we felt more time was needed to allow the options to be properly and thoroughly explored. The FCA has agreed, and we will continue to work closely with them.

"We will keep firms up to date with any changes that may affect them as and when we know."

 

Note to editors

Responsibility for regulating consumer credit work passed from the Office of Fair Trading to the FCA on 1 April 2014. Solicitor firms undertaking consumer credit work were regulated under the OFT through a group licence granted to the Law Society.

There is no equivalent group licence scheme at the FCA. We have consulted on proposals for how this change in regulation can best be taken forward. See consultation

The FCA agreed to a six-month extension to the original transitional arrangements in June 2014.

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