Advisers have slammed the FCA’s new interim consumer credit licence charges which do not recognise fees already paid to the Office for Fair Trading for indefinite licences.
The FCA will take over consumer credit regulation from the OFT in April 2014 as part of a crackdown on payday lenders.
This month, the FCA wrote to firms with a consumer credit licence asking sole traders to pay £150 and most other firms to pay £350 for interim permissions as part of the new FCA-regulated market.
Since 2008, most applications for consumer credit licences have been granted on an indefinite basis with firms expected to make a one-off payment to be granted a CCL, alongside five-yearly maintenance charges.
The cost for these licences increased on 1 April from £575 to £670 for sole traders and from £1,215 to £1,466 for partnerships or companies. The maintenance charge costs £208 for sole traders and £505 for other firms.
Money Marketing understands the FCA will not exempt firms that already hold an indefinite licence. However, the OFT says it will consider what to do about fees already paid and announce its position within the next month.
The FCA will publish a consultation for more detailed proposals on the new regime in September and a further consultation on fees in October.
Kingston IFA partner Sam Caunt says: “In this case the regulator is acting without integrity, decency, fairness or understanding. If we treated customers like this we would rightly get harangued.”
PMI Independent Advisers director John Stewart says: “I do not think the regulator understands that advisers are already paying increasing costs and the amount of difficulties they are facing.”