How to obtain an FCA consumer credit license

In this article, we assess how to obtain an FCA consumer credit license.

If you are considering offering or arranging finance, it is likely that you will require a consumer credit license from the financial regulator - Financial Conduct Authority. Examples of businesses who require a consumer credit license include credit brokers (where they refer finance applications to lenders), lenders, pawnbrokers, high-cost short-term (payday) and debt-related activities, such as debt collection and counselling.

Step 1. Your Business Plan

In your consumer credit license application, the regulator will want to understand your business plan. You will, therefore, need to provide information across a number of areas for your consumer credit license application. You must explain what your business does and why it requires the consumer credit license. You must provide details of your customers, how you will source new customers, including your marketing methods. You will need to provide details of your business experience as well as the experience of your team and management, including their background and experience.

In summary, you will be required to provide the following information in your consumer credit license application:

Business and customers

- explanation of your business, its background and what it does

- business objectives, including business opportunity and aims

- your customers and marketing strategy

People and compliance

- details of your key people, their experience and background

- how you will monitor compliance

- details of risks you have identified and how you will manage them

Step 2. Decide whether you require a limited or full permission consumer credit license

Whether you require a full or a limited permission consumer credit license will depend on the type of regulated activity you intend to provide.

Limited permission consumer credit license

Applying for a limited permission consumer credit license involves a shorter application process and a lower application fee in comparison to the full permission consumer credit license.