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        Consumer Credit

        It is now more than three years since the start of the new regulatory regime for the consumer credit industry and nearly all firms will have obtained their required permissions.

        It is now more than three years since the start of the new regulatory regime for the consumer credit industry and nearly all firms will have obtained their required permissions. However, this is an ever changing regulatory environment with a number of reviews and changes on the horizon so keeping up to date with these developments is essential.  The legal experts at DWF remain on hand to help you navigate all the relevant requirements and frequent changes.

        When the FCA took over the regulation of the consumer credit industry in April 2014 it brought with it a plethora of new guidance and regulations for firms to get to grips with, promising greater scrutiny and wider and more robust powers of enforcement. It is therefore vitally important that businesses are fully aware of and fully compliant with this new style of governance. 

        Below we have highlighted some of the key areas for focus under the FCA regime and provide useful resources and top tips to ensure you have all of the information you need to stay up to date.

        DWF Conforma

        DWF Conforma is designed to help you navigate your business through complying with the new FCA regulatory regime. It provides a flexible and cost-effective means of understanding how compliant your business is.

        Find out more about DWF Conforma

        Hot issues

        Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) is a topic which is very high on the FCA’s agenda. The FCA expects TCF to be central to firms’ business models and culture with the consumer being at the heart of everything they do. Firms are required to demonstrate that they consistently treat their customers fairly and are delivering their services against the TCF outcomes relevant to their business.

        The FCA places responsibility on senior management to embed TCF in the culture of their businesses. This allows firms some degree of flexibility in approach but, it is imperative that they get it right – where the FCA finds failings in a firm around TCF it will use its full regulatory powers to take action.

        Are your customers at the heart of your business? They should be.

        Download our top tips guide to help ensure you have a TCF culture in your business

        “Vulnerability” cannot be ignored. With the FCA stating that “most users of consumer credit may be regarded as “vulnerable” to some degree because of their financial circumstances”, this is an area firms must not get wrong. Are you providing your vulnerable customers with adequate safeguards? The FCA promises proactive supervision of firms in this area.

        Staff should receive specific training in this area and firms must have proper documented processes and procedures to ensure compliance.

        Download our top tips guide to help ensure you understand what is required under the FCA requirements

        “Complaints matter, and how they are dealt with can say much about a firm’s culture” (FCA TR14/18).  The FCA believes that complaints can assist firms in enhancing and retaining customer relations; are a vital part of the connection between firms and consumers and can give firms the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and improve their products and services.

        Firms need to have effective and transparent complaints processes and procedures which ensure that complaints are dealt with “reasonably, promptly and fairly” (FCA, TR14/18).

        Download our top tips guide to help ensure your policies and procedures are fully compliant

        Our expertise includes advising on:

        • What constitutes regulated activity including authorisation by the FCA and the requirements of the Threshold Conditions and the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC).
        • The FCA High Level Standards to include the Senior Management Arrangements Systems and Controls.
        • Arrangements for Approved Persons, the Dispute Resolution (including FOS) Jurisdiction) FCA Supervision, Training and Competence Requirements.
        • The regulation of Professional Firms in relation to FCA regulated activities.
        • The establishment of internal compliance systems.
        • Legal compliance audit and rectification advice and assistance.
        • Preparation and implementation advice on policies and procedures to cover CONC and the High Level Standards.
        • Advice on mortgage regulation and the Mortgage Credit Directive.
        • Strategic advice on how FS businesses should approach Conduct Risk.
        • Insurance mediation.
        • Statutory disclosure issues.
        • Section 166 investigations
        • Bribery Act compliance and investigations

        Meet our team

        DWF’s expertise in consumer credit law is recognised nationally and we have specialist teams located across the UK. Our leading UK team provides the retail, consumer, motor sectors with industry focused advice and are praised for delivering advice that fits perfectly into clients’ businesses.

        We strive to provide a full life agreement consultative approach to the way we do business to support our lender clients in providing them with a holistic approach to compliance and regulation. The team’s experience covers all areas of consumer credit, insurance mediation, mortgage regulation and other financial services regulated products from advertising and drafting documentation through to implementing new business initiatives.

        Julia Williams

        • Partner // Head of Consumer Credit and Asset Finance Sector

        David Wood

        • Consultant

        Dominic Jones

        • Senior Associate

        Jonathan Hall

        • Senior Associate