Consumer Credit Regime: Briefing for consumers
Jersey Islanders are being invited to give their views on proposed regulations which are intended to protect individuals and small businesses who borrow money.
Under the proposals, lenders will be licensed by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and legally required to conduct checks to ensure that prospective borrowers can afford the loan and are not vulnerable to exploitation. Lenders will also be required to meet basic standards in areas including loan set up costs, the information they give to consumers, interest rates, and cooling-off periods. The proposals will also lead to unfair contractual terms being unenforceable.
If approved, the regulation will cover all forms of loans including, for example, Jersey mortgages, local store cards, hire purchase agreements, overdrafts, buy-now-pay-later loans and small business loans up to £30,000. Credit cards will be excluded from the proposals. JFSC licensing will also be required for ancillary activies such as debt collection, credit broking, and credit advice.
The Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for Financial Services, Deputy Elaine Millar, said: “Almost all of us have, at some point, borrowed money so it is important that we fill the gaps in our current legislation and protect Islanders from poor practices.
“This legislation will bring a wide range of business operations under regulation and set minimum standards for them to meet. The intention is not to prevent people from taking on debt, but rather to ensure that consumers and small businesses are properly-informed and protected when they do so.
“We also want the businesses and individuals who will be regulated to have clarity about what will be expected of them. We will be aiming to ensure that the regime is practicable to implement and compatible with existing regulatory requirements in neighbouring British jurisdictions.
“This consultation is an opportunity for everyone to give their view on this important regulation, and I would urge everyone to give their feedback.”
The proposed legislation, explanatory notes, and the questions which respondents are being invited to answer, are available here.