The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today launched a call for input on the review of retained provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA).
The review will consider whether particular CCA provisions remain appropriate or should be modified, updated, or replaced by FCA rules or guidance, to maintain the right degree of consumer protection.
Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the regulator, said: “This is a real opportunity for everyone with an interest in consumer credit to help us plan our review and to shape the regime.
“We are looking forward to working with consumer groups, trade bodies, firms and others to help ensure that regulation remains appropriate in a fast-changing market.”
The call for input seeks initial views from stakeholders on:
• Whether to prioritise particular provisions for review;
• Whether provisions should be considered for earlier review;
• How best to engage with stakeholders.
Reasons for prioritising provisions for review might include that they provide particular benefits for consumers, or are particularly burdensome on firms without a commensurate benefit, or are particularly complex.
Equally, the FCA may decide not to review substantively provisions which are working well or where there is limited flexibility, or where FCA rules could not adequately replicate existing provisions.
Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer and mortgage finance at the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), said: “We welcome this long-awaited review of the remaining provisions of the CCA, and have already suggested to the FCA a list of out-dated provisions where changes are needed.
“For instance, the wording of statutory notices required to be sent to customers in financial difficulties is abrupt and not in keeping with modern customer service – and a long history of overly complex provisions have, on occasion, left customers and firms with no choice but to seek clarity through litigation.
“We’ll be seeking our members’ input to help make sure that we get a regime fit for the 21st century.”
The call for input closes on May 18 2016. The FCA will finalise the scope of the review in light of responses and publish an update by the fourth quarter of 2016.
By Marcel LeGouais