The FCA’s stance on Consumer Credit Licensing is an outrage.
I run a small but growing practice in Suffolk. In May 2012, when I took on a mortgage adviser, I applied to the OFT for a consumer credit licence for which I paid £435. On the licence it clearly states that it lasts indefinitely. I looked ‘indefinitely’ up in the dictionary and it says ‘not finite’ or ‘without end’ or ‘lasting forever’.
I have now received literature from the FCA, telling me that this ‘indefinite’ licence will now expire in March 2014. Apparently, ‘indefinite’ does not really mean ‘indefinite’. I am also informed that I will now need to register with the FCA and pay a fee of £150, (less a 30 per cent ‘discount’ if I pay before 30th November), which gets me ‘interim permission’ for the period until my existing licence is now deemed to expire in March 2014.
That would mean that I will have paid a total (including my lovely FCA ‘early bird discount’) of £540 for a consumer credit licence that was supposed to last forever, but which will actually have lasted for just 22 months!
There are two fundamental issues here:
1. How can something described by the OFT as ‘indefinite’ now be deemed by the FCA to expire less than two years after it was issued?
2. If my consumer credit licence does indeed expire in March 2014, why is the £435 that I previously paid for it to last forever, now not enough for it to last for another six months?
My original licence was issued by the Office of Fair Trading but this whole process does not seem very ‘fair’ to me at all.
I wonder how the population of the UK would react if they were suddenly told by DVLA: “Thanks for paying us £50 for your driving licence, which we did say would last for the next 20 years. However, we are moving the administration of driving licences to the RAC, and they say your Licence will now expire next April instead. In addition, you must pay an extra £40 for ‘interim permission’ to drive a car until your existing licence, that you have already paid for, expires next April, 19 years ahead of schedule”.
I paid the OFT for an indefinite expiry consumer credit licence and I do not believe I should be forced by the FCA to pay again for that Licence only for it to last less time than was originally promised (in writing) by the OFT.
I am trying to do exactly what David Cameron says the Government supports – that is, to build a small business that employs other people and helps put money back into the local economy. These additional expenses from the FCA as our regulatory body do not help me to do that.
Am I the only person who is unwilling to pay extra to have something last a shorter time than the original was paid to last for?
Plumb Financial Services