§ Mr. Timothy Smith
asked the Minister for Trade what progress he is making with implementing the Consumer Credit Act 1974; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The Department has circulated in draft for comment all the main regulations necessary to implement the Act and hopes to complete work on them by the end of the year. I have decided however that I need not at this stage make regulations to implement certain other provisions of the Act. The regulations involved could be a burden on industry and I am not convinced that they are necessary at present. But the situation will be kept under review.
The relevant provisions are:Section 53: Display of information on premises of persons carrying on consumer credit or hire businessesSection 26/54: Conduct of business regulations governing 103W seeking businessSection 55: Disclosure of information to the debtor or hirer before an agreement regulated by the Act is madeSection 64(3): Provision of a copy of a cancellable agreement in addition to that provided when the agreement is signedSection 112: Realisation of property over which the right has been provided by way of securitySection 156: Power to make regulations in relation to credit brokerage, debt-adjusting or debt-counselling agreements, corresponding to those relating to consumer credit or hire agreementsSection 179: Form and content of secondary documents; for example, credit cards and trading checks.
§ Mr. Timothy Smith
asked the Minister for Trade whether he has completed his review of the monetary limits in the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
§ Dr. Vaughan
I propose to raise the main limits of £5,000 and £30 to £15,000 and £50 respectively and to increase most of the other limits. I expect to lay a draft order before Parliament in the autumn to bring the new limits into operation early next year. The present and proposed limits are:
Section Present limit Proposed limit £ £ *8(2) Upper limit for regulated consumer credit agreement 5,000 15,000 *15(1)(c) Upper limit for regulated consumer hire agreement 5,000 15,000 *17(1) Small agreement 30 50 *43(3)(a) Upper exemption limit for advertisement 5,000 15,000 70(6) Maximum fee or commission to credit-broker on cancelled agreement 1 3 *75(3)(b) Cash price limits on 30 50 joint liability of creditor and supplier 10,000 30,000 77(1), 78(1), 79(1) Fee for copy of agreement 15p 50p 84(1) Maximum liability following misuse of credit token 30 50 101(7)(a) Maximum annual hire payments for right of termination of hire agreement after 18 months to apply 300 900 107(1), 108(1), 109(1) Fee for information to surety 15p 50p 110(1) Fee for copy of security instrument 15p 50p 118(1)(b) Upper limit for use of unsworn statement in place of lost pawn-receipt 15 15 120(1)(a) Upper limit of pawned property which passes to pawnee if unredeemed at end of six months †l5 15 155(1) Maximum fee or commission to credit-broker for work not leading to an agreement 1 3 158(1) Fee to credit reference agency for copy of file on individual 25p 1 * Changes in these limits require an affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament. † Until the Pawnbrokers Act 1872 is repealed the limit of £2 in that Act will continue to apply.
A convenient opportunity will be taken to raise to £50 the £30 limits in the advertisement and quotations regulations.104W
I also envisage increasing the £5,000 limit in the Hire-Purchase Acts.