Monthly Archives: June 2014

Extension to consumer credit transitional provisions agreed

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has secured agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to extend the transitional arrangements for consumer credit work.

The FCA took over regulation of consumer credit work in 1 April. Law firms carrying out consumer credit work and who were originally covered by the Law Society’s group licence therefore had to look again at their authorisation. As part of this, transitional arrangements were put in place for law firms affected by the shift in regulators until 30 September 2014.

The SRA has since worked with the FCA to secure an extension, and the FCA has now agreed to run the transitional period until 1 April, 2015.

More information: Regulation of consumer credit activities

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

On 13th June, the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the  Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 will be superseded by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

The Regulations apply to contracts entered into on or after that date and impose a new statutory regulatory regime for certain consumer contracts. Solicitors will need to review and amend their client care documentation.

The new regulations apply when the client is a consumer and the contract is entered into:

  • on the solicitors’ premises
  • away from the solicitors’ premises or following discussions which have taken place there
  • at a distance as part of an organised distance sales service

The regulations also extend the previous cancellation period of 7 days to 14 days.

Click here to download our free guidance note on the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013.

Contact us for further advice and if you would like us to review and amend your client care documentation.

SRA contact numbers change

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will be changing some key telephone numbers on Thursday 5 June.

Details for the Contact Centre, Professional Ethics and confidential reporting line Red Alert will change, dropping the “08” at the start and instead using “03”. Anyone using the “08” numbers will hear a message advising them to redial using the “03” prefix. This message will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The new numbers will therefore be:

  • Contact Centre: 0370 606 2555
  • Professional Ethics helpline: 0370 606 2577
  • Red Alert: 0345 850 0999

Firms that have the SRA’s contact details on their website should ensure the new versions are displayed. Firms that have existing printed materials carrying the SRA’s contact details can continue to use them as the re-direct message will be in place. However, any new printing should use the new numbers.

The change is being made so that the SRA complies with European Union Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EC. Under the Directive, calls to customer helplines must be charged at no more than the basic rate.

Charges for calling “03” numbers are the same as for calls made to standard UK landline phone numbers. Calls to “03” numbers are also included in mobile phone call packages in the same way regular landline numbers are.