Much has been written over the last 12 months about the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) taking over consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading. The 1 January 2015 saw the first batch of ‘landing slots’ close for automotive dealers, with the first round of applications submitted for full consumer credit permission.
Companies in the industry that sell any form of vehicle finance will, by now, have had to apply to the FCA to be included in an interim register in order to carry on trading. Those on the register will have been issued landing slots, which give a pre-determined three-month window in which to submit a full application to apply for authorisation to sell financial products. Failing to submit an application during this slot will result in a company’s interim permission ending, leaving the dealer unauthorised and unable to offer finance. For franchised dealers, a lack of authorisation would leave the business effectively unable to trade.
The changes to the regulation of finance related products by the FCA represent the largest change to the way dealers will conduct their business in years to come. In our latest automotive sector factsheet, we take a look at the new FCA rules and examine the possible implications for the automotive industry.