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Sunday, 22 December 2013

OFT suspends credit licence of Shropshire-based motor dealer  - The Office of Fair Trading

The OFT has suspended the credit licence of a motor dealer, issuing this press release (well, this is part of it):
The OFT has suspended the consumer credit licence of Jonathan Edward Rochford, a Shropshire-based motor dealer trading as Phoenix Car Centre.
The OFT took this step after concluding that suspending the licence is urgently necessary to protect consumers. The suspension means it is now a criminal offence for Jonathan Edward Rochford, or any other person, for example an employee, agent or company of his, to engage in any consumer credit, consumer hire or credit broking activity using his licence. This press notice has been issued to inform consumers and other consumer credit businesses. The principal place of business for Phoenix Car Centre is 9 Lake End Drive, Telford, Shropshire TF3 1NU.
Jonathan Edward Rochford has been invited to make representations to the OFT by 10 January 2014. If representations are made, the OFT's Adjudicator will take into account the representations and decide whether to confirm the suspension (with or without variation) or withdraw it.
This is an early example (perhaps the first) of the use of a power to suspend a licence immediately where there is an urgent need to do so. It's also worth including the notes to the press release - the first one is particularly interesting.
  1. The OFT is unable at this stage to discuss the detailed reasons for its decision to suspend Jonathan Edward Rochford's licence.
  2. Jonathan Edward Rochford's consumer credit licence is suspended as of 17 December 2013.
  3. An amendment to the Consumer Credit Act 1974 came into effect on 19 February 2013 and gave the OFT the power to suspend a consumer credit licence where it appears urgently necessary to do so for the protection of consumers. 
  4. The OFT published guidance in February 2013 setting out how and when it can use the new power to suspend a credit licence. The guidance establishes that in the most serious cases, which include those where there is evidence of immediate harm, the OFT will suspend a licence with immediate effect. In other circumstances, businesses will be given an opportunity to make its case to an adjudicator before the suspension takes effect.

Here is a link to the full press release.

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