Last year it emerged that retailers big and small would be hit with new consumer credit costs, regardless of the size of business, while the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
ActSmart said that the 500 bike shops using its Ride it away cycle finance offering would pay over £100,000 for the administrative move.
Since then, however, the FCA has announced it will send a cheque prior to April 2014 to all businesses who are entitled to a rebate on their consumer credit licence. In September the FCA said it would begin a programme of rebates to avoid holders of the licence being ‘double charged’.
"ACT were concerned that many of our members had purchased ‘indefinite’ licences from the OFT that would no longer be valid after April 2014. In their place, companies were asked to purchase an interim licence that will be valid until October 2014," said ActSmart.
It has since been announced that from October 2014 full licences lasting two years will be issued, with costs ranging from £1,000 to £15,000 depending on the company’s income. Licences from the OFT were previously issued at a cost of £530 for sole traders and £1,326 for other firms.
The FCA said to qualify for a rebate, licence holders must have paid for a licence or renewal of a licence, or paid a maintenance fee, after 31 March 2009. This means a firm must have paid an OFT licence or maintenance charge after 1 April 2009. Full details on that can be found over on ActSmart’s site here.
ActSmart told BikeBiz it is delighted the FCA has taken a fair and common sense approach to the rebate of current OFT licences and the organisation is continuing to work with the FCA to hopefully influence the revised fee structure so that when it is published it is fair and proportionate to the volume of consumer credit that is proposed by each business.