The Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) has been awarded a group consumer credit licence.
It means that insolvency practitioners (IPs) licensed by the IPA will be able to undertake consumer credit counselling activity without the need to apply for their own standard licence.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued the licence, which runs to the point in 2014 when the current OFT licensing is due to come under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regime.
The OFT has said it expects IPs who undertake high volumes of individual voluntary agreement (IVA) or PTD work to hold a standard consumer credit licence.
It was recently announced that the FCA will extend the proposed exemption for IPs from the new regime to include pre-appointment advice.
According to the IPA, this means that the regulatory burden of the consumer credit licensing scheme will be lifted for IPs conducting debt advice in anticipation of an insolvency appointment when the FCA comes into effect.
Charles Turner, president of the IPA, said: “This represents a significant achievement for the Association in advancing the interests of its members and brings much needed clarity to the requirements upon them.
“The IPA will always act in the interests of members to ensure that the burden of regulation is proportionate and risk-based, so that their valuable work can be carried on without unnecessary hindrance.”