NPA prepares for April regime change

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Financial Conduct Authority to be responsible for regulating credit.

The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) is preparing its members for a regime change on April 1 when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) takes over responsibility for regulating consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

To prepare for the changes, NPA chief executive Ray Perry, the NPA’s FCA compliance advisor, Stephen Atkins, head of consumer credit at the FAC, Nausicaa Delfas and Jeanette Harwood, a partner of Walker Morris LLP, will attend roadshows in Birmingham and London to ensure all pawnbrokers understand the new rules.

For anyone who cannot attend, all the information from these roadshows will be available on the NPA’s website after the London event on March 11.

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NPA chief executive, Ray Perry, said: “The NPA is working closely with FCA, who have been very receptive to understanding how pawnbroking works and why it is different to other forms of lending. It is a loan secured against an asset, such as a gold ring, and can be redeemed at any point during the 6 or 7 month contract with interest payable to the date of redemption.”

He added: “In most cases, if the item is not redeemed any residual surplus is returned to the customer. It is not therefore an unsecured high cost short term credit loan. We welcome the new rulebook and our role will be keeping our members up to date with any changes as we move forward.”

Jeanette Harwood, Walker Morris LLP, revealed: “The FCA regime will differ in many ways from the OFT’s. It will have more authority to act in a variety of ways against those who do not conform to the law, the new rulebook and to processes required. Pawnbroking is one form of consumer credit that the changes will impact upon but it’s vital that all those involved in lending are fully prepared."

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