Consumer credit scores on the doors...

In some ways – bonus package, the intelligence of your offspring, the quality of your business card print – it can be very damaging to compare yourself to others.  However, there are times when it can be very useful to have a bit of a snoop at what your peers are doing; particularly when it comes to new experiences, like taking on FCA regulation.

Handily for us, the FCA has recently published its April 2016 Data Bulletin Supplement on consumer credit authorisations, which means that you can track how your firm is stacking up against others in the same market.  The information available only goes up to December 2015, but I think it gives us a pretty reliable high level view of how consumer credit firms reacted to the change in regulator from the OFT to the FCA.

Size and nature of the market

  • There were 37,336 consumer credit firms in the market at December 2015 (excluding appointed representatives). 
  • Of these, 25,220 had been authorised (754 grandfathered and 24,466 that had applied and been authorised).
  • A further 12,116 had an interim permission.
  • 1,281 applications from new-to-market firms were in the process of being determined.
  • The majority of firms authorised have been granted permission to carry out credit broking activities.


  • 32,070 firms had applied for authorisation (22,370 in designated application periods and 9,700 new-to- market).
  • In the application periods that had closed, 19,071 firms with interim permission had lapsed or cancelled.
  • Overall, 68% of eligible firms in closed application periods applied, including 5,768 firms that had become appointed representatives and 389 firms that reapplied after lapsing/cancelling.


Determinations are applications which can be approved or refused by the FCA, or withdrawn by the firm.

95% of determinations resulted in a firm being authorised (25,645 firms). This included 7,443 new-to-market firms and 780 grandfathered firms. 1,408 firms withdrew their application and a further 40 firms were refused. Permissions for 425 firms have been cancelled since authorisation.