14th April 2015
If you do a search online for payday loans or instalment loans you will literally find hundreds of companies wanting to offer you financial products and services but are all these companies regulated and registered companies in the UK? All companies by law have to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), this is the board that gives authorisation for conducting finance related business to consumers in the UK.
If a company is conducting business around finance whether it be a broker or a lender does not have this license then they are trading illegally and you may be at risk of fraud as it can be hard to track down these companies once they have your details. These rogue companies claiming to be lenders and brokers without a license are something that the FCA are trying to crack down on and ban so no one is at risk and if they want to trade they need to be properly regulated or face penalties if they are caught.
Any company that wants to promote financial products must be registered in the UK. The FCA will only consider companies that have premises in the UK and are contactable by mail. Payday lenders and brokers from overseas can trade in the UK as long as they have a registered business address in the UK or their application for an FCA license will be rejected. If a company does not have registered address in the UK it is more than likely they will not have a company number allocated by Companies House, where all UK businesses are registered and we would strongly recommend avoiding these companies at all costs as you may not be protected if you make a claim against a company that no one has a record for.
To check if a payday loan lender is a UK registered company the best place and the only way you should confirm this by using the Companies House Web Check register. The Web Check register will give you information about a company and if you are a paying customer with Companies House you can get additional information about a company.
To find out the company number of a lender this may be located at the bottom of their website or in the about us section if you still can’t find it contact the company directly and ask for the company number which is usually 6 or 8 digit long once you have got this go the Companies House Web Check and enter the number. Once you have entered in the number you should get additional information about that company and you should look out for registered address, how long have they registered and if the company is active or dissolved, if the company is dissolved they should not be trading at all so please avoid these companies.
Do not be alarmed if you see a different company name listed as many companies work as a trading style giving different names to multiple sites they may own but the company listed is the company that owns all the sites.
Here is an example of checking one of our lending partners Credio Loans if they are a registered business –
Go to the Credio Loans website and scroll to the bottom you will find their company number
Once you have located the company number go on to Companies House Web Check and enter in the company registration number or name but usually easier if number entered
Once the number is entered click on search and you will find the following additional information. What you should be looking out for is who the company is owned by in this case Credio is owned by Cashbridge Corporation and has a registered UK address. The second thing to look out for if the company is active or dissolved in this case they are active and been since the 4th August 2009
All brokers, payday and instalment loan companies have to be regulated by the FCA if they want to conduct financial activities by law and if a company does not have an FCA license we strongly recommend avoiding these companies and report them to the FCA so they can look into this.
To verify if a company is regulated by the FCA, we will use another lending partner, Different Money for our example –
Go to the Different Money website and scroll to the bottom this is usually where most companies state their FCA number which is usually 6 or 7 digits long
Once you have located the FCA number go the Interim Permission Consumer Credit Register and enter the number into the search box and click on search
Once you have clicked on the search you will come to a screen giving you various information about the company as well as the company’s FCA license number. You will also be able to check any other websites registered under this company, what permissions the lender has whether it’s a lending license or brokerage license or both and any disciplinary actions taken against the company
If you are experiencing financial difficulty and need advice visit the Money Advice Service who can offer support and advice.