The Government has fundamentally reformed regulation of the consumer credit market. The transfer of regulatory responsibility for consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took effect in April. The FCA has stronger powers and is far better equipped to protect consumers than the OFT.
The Government has ensured that the FCA has inherited the OFT’s powers (both criminal and regulatory) in relation to misconduct which occurred before
The FCA has the same powers as the OFT had to investigate and prosecute offences under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
The FCA has also inherited the OFT’s power to fine, although the OFT’s power to fine under the Consumer Credit Act was limited to fining a firm for breaches of a requirement imposed by the OFT (and the maximum penalty in this regard was £50,000). The Government has already strengthened the new regime by giving the FCA the ability to impose unlimited fines for breaches of regulatory requirements that take place after