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FCA sets consumer credit licence fees

The regulator has set out how much it will charge advisers for consumer credit licences when the new regime comes into force next April.

Advisers need to apply for interim permission ahead of the transfer of regulation of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading to the Financial Conduct Authority.

In its consultation paper on regulatory fees for 2014/15, published last week, the FCA says it will set specified deadlines for each firm with all completed before 1 April 2016. The Treasury has proposed a rebate for firms that had already paid for an indefinite OFT licence and will publish details this month.

Sole traders who apply for an interim licence before 30 November will receive a 30 per cent discount. Application fees for CCLs will be divided into four categories: straightforward cases costing up to £1,000, moderately complex cases up to £5,000, complex cases up to £10,000 and very complex cases up to £25,000. 

Firms already FCA-authorised will only pay half the relevant application fee.

For ongoing fees, firms with an income threshold of below £250,000 will pay an annual minimum fee, with firms above the threshold paying the minimum fee plus a variable fee. For full permissions, the first minimum fee block for income up to £100,000 will pay £500 a year, while those between £100,000 and £250,000 will pay £1,000.

For example, if an adviser has a moderately complex business which is earning up to £100,000 on full permissions, they will pay a £2,500 application fee plus £500 a year minus the Government rebate.

Association of Professional Financial Advisers senior policy adviser Clare Griffiths says: “We hope advisers fall in the minimum income bracket. If they fit into the moderately complex box and are paying half the £5,000 fee with a periodic fee, all these costs will start adding up.”

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