We are not responsible for issuing licences for businesses who want to offer credit or lend money to consumers, or wants to allow customers time to pay for goods and services.
A credit licence must be obtained from the Consumer Credit Licensing Bureau of the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
The following types of business must be licensed with the Office of Fair Trading:
- Consumer credit
- Consumer hire
- Debit adjusting and debt counselling
- Debt collecting
- Credit reference agencies
- Canvassing credit off trade premises
The Office of Fair Trading holds a public record of all licensed traders and of all those who have applied for a licence. They can provide details to the public about its licensed businesses, such as the type of activities they cover, their authorised trading names and main business address.
In December 2003, the government proposed changes to the consumer credit market. Their proposals include strengthening credit licence rules, giving the Office of Fair Trading the power to fine moneylenders and make surprise raids on debt companies, and making small print bigger on adverts for financial products.
For further information see the Office of Fair Trading website.
Some of the areas covered within this section are, false or misleading descriptions of goods or services, pricing complaints, holiday complaints, internet miss selling, unfair trading practices and scams.
We are very active in the fight against counterfeit goods. The counterfeiting trade is closely linked to both drugs and people trafficking, which helps to fund organised crime.
In carrying out this duty we are contributing to the Council's rights and responsibilities strategy.