The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been responsible for the regulation of activities relating to consumer credit since 1 April 2014. Under the FCA regime persons providing regulated activities including (but not limited to) debt counselling or debt adjusting require authorisation by the FCA, unless they benefit from a relevant exclusion or exemption or are an appointed representative of an authorised firm.
Debt adjusting involves negotiating terms with creditors on behalf of a consumer client for settlement of the debt due under a regulated credit agreement or consumer hire agreement.
A 'consumer client' is not simply restricted to employed or unemployed individuals who have incurred consumer debts such as personal credit, but can include any individuals, eg the self-employed or those in business who have personal regulated debts.
Debt counselling involves providing advice to a consumer client about the liquidation of a debt due under a specific regulated credit or consumer hire agreement. The work of an insolvency practitioner (IP) therefore, when providing advice to a debtor on their financial options for example, or negotiating on their behalf re the varying of credit terms, would require authorisation from the FCA.
R3 members can provide advice on a range of business and personal finance issues. To find an R3 member who can help you, click below.