FCA Regulation

The Institute has over 1,800 members at a variety of organisations, carrying out a range of different functions. We don’t have the resources to fully audit all organisations to establish the extent of their services and we are not experts on Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation; we are, therefore, unable to provide specific advice regarding an individual organisation’s particular authorisation requirements.

As an IMA member, it is your responsibility to ensure you are appropriately authorised for the activities you undertake.

All organisations undertaking money advice are required to hold FCA permissions, unless the organisation falls into an exempt category. We are currently liaising with the FCA, which has agreed to produce information and guidance to IMA members uncertain about the permissions they might require.

If your organisation is providing money/debt advice to clients, this is a regulated activity and permissions are required. Those permissions may include:

A. Debt Adjusting – this activity comprises the following, in relation to debts due under a credit agreement or consumer hire agreement:
(1) negotiating with the lender or owner, on behalf of the borrower or hirer, terms for the discharge of a debt;
(2) taking over, in return for payments by the borrower or hirer, that person’s obligation to discharge a debt; or
(3) any similar activity concerned with the liquidation of a debt.

B. Debt Counselling
(1) giving advice to a borrower about the liquidation of a debt due under a credit agreement;
(2) giving advice to a hirer about the liquidation of a debt due under a consumer hire agreement.

C. Credit Information Services
(1) ascertaining whether a credit information agency holds information relevant to the financial standing of an individual or relevant recipient of credit;
(2) ascertaining the contents of such information;
(3) securing the correction of, the omission of anything from, or the making of any other kind of modification of, such information;
(4) securing that a credit information agency which holds such information—
(i)stops holding the information, or
(ii)does not provide it to any other person.

For a full definition of ‘credit information agency’, please refer to the FCA website.

Please note that, depending on the activities carried out by your organisation, different permissions might be required. Further information on FCA regulated activities can be found on the FCA website, or by contacting the regulator directly. If in doubt, your organisation should seek legal advice.

Please note that in order for a member to be authorised by the IMA as a DRO Approved Intermediary they must be covered by all three permissions listed above.

As a member, it is your responsibility to ensure your organisation holds the appropriate permissions for the activities you undertake.