The Consumer Credit Act

The Consumer Credit Act (CCA) was initially introduced in 1974 to protect consumers and some small businesses which used credit to buy goods and services in the UK. 

Numerous provisions were made under the CCA, which was reviewed and amended in 2006, and further provisions were brought into force in the UK in 2010 as a result of the European Consumer Credit Directive (which had been adopted in Europe in 2008).

Until 1 April 2014, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was responsible for overseeing the CCA.  It issued licences to firms, such as credit providers and motor dealers, who engaged in regulated consumer credit activities and ensured compliance with the Act's provisions to help protect consumer credit customers. Enforcement work at local level was carried by Trading Standards Offices.

With effect from 1 April 2014, the OFT was closed and its functions largely divided between the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has assumed responsibility for regulating consumer credit (see ‘The FCA and principles-based regulation' module). Some parts of the CCA have been abolished, but the majority of its provisions remain in force and have been carried over into new rules made by the FCA in its Sourcebook. The specific rules for firms carrying our consumer credit activities are set out in the FCA's Consumer Credit Sourcebook (referred to as ‘CONC'). CONC is available here.