We have strong links with a number of financial services businesses and a wealth of experience, especially in the consumer finance sector. We have advised lenders, brokers and debt collection agencies as well as a number of trade associations (including the Association of Finance Brokers, the Consumer Credit Association and the British Cheque and Credit Association) in relation to all aspects of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
This extends to unsecured and secured lending, fixed sum and running account credit and hire purchase arrangements. We also provide guidance on implementing the regulations made under the CCA, governing such issues as the form and content of agreements, advertising, APRs and early settlement rebates. We regularly draft regulated agreements and approve advertising copy for clients.
We often undertake corporate acquisitions and reorganisations of financial services providers which require detailed assessments of risk via exhaustive due diligence on debt books and compliance issues (for example, assessing the enforceability of credit and PPI agreements).
Consumer Credit Act
We can offer in depth experience on the implementation of the Consumer Credit Act 2006, specifically arrears and default notices, unfair credit relationships and the new licensing regime. This has also had an impact on clients’ commercial arrangements and required termination or renegotiation of relevant contracts – for example commission agreements with brokers.
FOS and OFT
Access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for all customers of consumer credit lenders was introduced in April 2007 we regularly provide advice in this area. We also advise on how to respond to any complaints made to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and dealing with formal trading standards or OFT investigations.
Consumer Credit Licences
We are retained by a number of lenders in the UK and based overseas to assist them in obtaining Consumer Credit Licences and starting to trade in the UK. This has involved producing a full suite of CCA compliant documents and devising and implementing a full regulatory strategy for CCA, money laundering and data protection.
Consumer Credit Directive
On a European level, we monitor progress of the Consumer Credit Directive via our work with credit trade associations. The Directive directly affects unsecured lenders and requires agreements, advertising, the calculation of APR and early settlement rebates to be monitored.
"Very impressed with their depth of knowledge and ability to achieve tight timescales."