Easier to use form for consumer credit licences

The Office of Fair Trading has launched an easier to use form for businesses applying for, renewing, varying or notifying changes to their consumer credit licences.

The forms are clearer and easier for businesses to complete and will provide the OFT with better personal information for verifying an applicant’s identity and address. The OFT has also issued a leaflet entitled Do you need a credit licence? to help smaller businesses consider whether their business activities require a consumer credit licence.

The OFT processed 26,000 applications for new and renewed licences in 2004-05.

The forms have been redesigned to help reduce the number of completion errors made by traders. There are also separate simpler forms for sole traders. The forms give increased guidance to traders on questions, such as the type of information the OFT needs on the trader’s business activity. They also have clearer questions, increased space to give free-text information, and checklists to help traders ensure they provide all key information before sending off their application

The forms also include additional questions asking for personal addresses for sole traders and partners that will help the OFT and trading standards departments to confirm applicants’ identities and better enable the OFT to target traders who require further investigation on fitness grounds.

Christine Wade, director of consumer regulation enforcement division at the OFT, says: The new forms will benefit businesses, consumers and the economy by enabling a faster and more efficient licence application process.

The old licensing forms will be valid until November 18 except the licence renewal form, which will be valid until December 31.