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SimplyBiz: Consumer credit – scores on the doors

However, there are times when it can be very useful to have a bit of a snoop at what your peers are doing; particularly when it comes to new experiences, like taking on FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulation.

To assist with this benchmarking exercise, the FCA has recently published its April 2016 Data Bulletin Supplement on consumer credit authorisations, which means that you can track how your firm is stacking up against others in the same market. The information available only goes up to December 2015, but I think it gives us a pretty reliable high-level view of how consumer credit firms reacted to the change in regulator from the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) to the FCA.

So what do we know?

Well largely the size and nature of the market. As of December 2015:

- There were 37,336 consumer credit firms in the market (excluding appointed representatives) 

- Of these, 25,220 had been authorised (754 grandfathered and 24,466 had applied and been granted authorised status)

- A further 12,116 were still working under interim permissions

- 1,281 applications from new-to-market firms were in the process of being determined

- The majority of firms authorised had been granted permission to carry out credit broking activities.


32,070 firms (the final total) had applied for authorisation (22,370 in designated application periods and 9,700 new to market)
In the application periods that had closed, 19,071 firms with interim permission had lapsed or cancelled
Overall, 68% of eligible firms in closed application periods applied, including 5,768 firms that had become appointed representatives and 389 firms that reapplied after lapsing/cancelling


Determinations are applications which can be approved or refused by the FCA, or withdrawn by the firm.

95% of determinations resulted in a firm being authorised (25,645 firms). This included 7,443 new-to-market firms and 780 grandfathered firms. 1,408 firms withdrew their application and a further 40 firms were refused. Permissions for 425 firms have been cancelled since authorisation.

There are obviously a number of variables in these figures and many are discussed in the full report, however, on the whole it shows that with just three months remaining for those registered under interim permissions following the period of transition, most people had stayed with the process and were adhering to the principles by which they could demonstrate that they were committed to meeting the FCA’s principles as they went through the application process. Perhaps more importantly, these figures also show that the regulator is aware of who is and who isn’t in the process and will doubtless be interested to learn whether their continuing business focus requires them to hold the relevant permissions.

Working with the SimplyBiz Group can help you to ensure that. While it is critical that you comply with regulation, this need not distract you from further developing your business. Our specialist team keeps up with all the changes in the industry so that you don’t have to do it all yourself. The SimplyBiz Group has 14 years of experience in this area, and that’s just one of the reasons why we have been able to partner with a number of associations to ensure that their members are in the best possible position to flourish through the provision of business and compliance support services. Associations include the AOBP (Association of Bridging Professionals), NACFB (National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers), CCA Shawbrook Bank Academy and the ASTL (Association of Short Term Lenders). If you want help adapting to FCA regulation or simply to spend more time with your clients ensuring that you still keep compliant on an ongoing basis, please get in touch with the team on 01484 443 424

Attributed to David Golder, Managing Director, Consumer Credit Centre, SimplyBiz Group 

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