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Putting consumer protection first

The FCA’s recent decision to take criminal action demonstrates its commitment to the regulation of consumer credit and to ensuring that people are working within their permissions, writes James Walton

2 March 2017

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken its first criminal action under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 against an individual who allegedly operated as a consumer credit lender without the requisite licence or authority.

Operational objectives

On 1 April 2014, the FCA took over the regulation of consumer credit activities from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The FCA subsequently released its strategic objectives and the supporting three operational objectives, which are to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers, to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system, and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.

Following the transfer from the OFT, the FCA now has the power to investigate and prosecute individuals or firms who undertake unauthorised business. This power is codified i...

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