The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) is preparing members for 1 April 2014 when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will take over responsibility for regulating consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Ray Perry (Chief Executive of NPA), Stephen Atkins (NPA’s FCA Compliance advisor), Nausicaa Delfas, Head of Consumer Credit at the FCA and Jeanette Harwood, a partner of Walker Morris LLP, a top 100 law firm with experience in the Alternative Credit Market, are attending roadshows in Birmingham and London to ensure all pawnbrokers understand the new rules. All information from these roadshows will be available for pawnbrokers on the NPA’s website after the London event on 11 March 2014.

NPA Chief Executive, Ray Perry, says:

‘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. 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.’

Stephen Atkins, NPA’s Compliance Advisor, says:

‘Pawnbrokers already comply with the Consumer Credit Act but there are many requirements from the new regime that will be new to pawnbrokers such as reporting certain information to the FCA and the required processes, procedures, systems and plans. We are here to help Pawnbrokers understand these changes and to work closely with the FCA.’

Jeanette Harwood, Walker Morris LLP, says:

‘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.’