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CONC 11.1 The right to cancel

CONC 11.1.1R

Except as provided for in CONC 11.1.2 R or where PROF 5.4.1 R (1) or PROF 5.4.1 R (2) applies, a consumer has a right to cancel a distance contract without penalty and without giving any reason, within 14 calendar days where that contract is:

  1. (1)

    a credit agreement;

  2. (2)

    an agreement between a consumer and a firm the subject matter of which comprises or relates to credit broking,1 debt counselling, debt adjusting, providing credit information services or providing credit references, other than an agreement that relates to any of those activities in relation to a consumer hire agreement.

[Note: article 6(1) of the Distance Marketing Directive in relation to distance contracts that are consumer credit agreements]

CONC 11.1.2R
  1. (1)

    For a credit agreement there is no right to cancel under CONC 11.1.1 R, unless (2) or (3) applies, in respect of:

    1. (a)

      a regulated consumer credit agreement (within the meaning of that section) to which section 66A (right to withdraw) of the CCA applies;

    2. (b)

      a credit agreement under which a lender provides credit to a consumer and where the consumer's obligation to repay is secured by a legal mortgage on land;

    3. (c)

      a credit agreement cancelled under regulation 15(1) of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (automatic cancellation of a related credit agreement) or under regulation 38 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (effects of withdrawal or cancellation on ancillary contracts)3;

    4. (d)

      a credit agreement cancelled under regulation 23 of the Timeshare, Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010 (automatic termination of credit agreement); and

    5. (e)

      a restricted-use credit agreement to finance the purchase of land or an existing building, or an agreement for a bridging loan in connection with the purchase of land or an existing building.

  2. (2)

    There is a right to cancel under CONC 11.1.1 R where the lender has not complied with CONC 2.7.6 R (requirement to communicate terms and conditions etc), unless the distance contract falls with the exception in CONC 2.7.12 R and the firm has complied with the requirements of that rule.

  3. (3)

    There is a right to cancel under CONC 11.1.1 R where the circumstances in CONC 2.7.12 R apply but the lender has not supplied all the contractual terms and conditions and information as required in CONC 2.7.12 R.

  4. (4)

    In the case of a distance contract comprising an initial service agreement followed by successive operations or a series of separate operations of the same nature performed over time, the right to cancel under CONC 11.1.1R applies only to the initial service agreement.3

    [Note: article 1(2) of the Distance Marketing Directive]3

  5. (5)

    In this rule: 3

    1. (a)

      “initial service agreement” includes the opening of a bank account or the making of a credit-token agreement; and3

    2. (b)

      “operations” includes the deposit or withdrawal of funds to or from a bank account and payments by a credit card or store card.3

CONC 11.1.3G

Section 66A of the CCA (right to withdraw) does not apply to an agreement for credit exceeding £60,260 (unless the agreement is a residential renovation agreement)2, an agreement secured on land, a restricted-use credit agreement to finance the purchase of land or an agreement for a bridging loan in connection with the purchase of land. Section 67 of the CCA (cancellable agreements) applies to regulated credit agreements (apart from agreements secured on land, restricted-use credit agreements to finance the purchase of land or agreements for a bridging loan in connection with the purchase of land and agreements covered by section 66A) and consumer hire agreements (to which this section does not apply) in the circumstances specified in the section. A customer with a right to cancel under section 67 of the CCA may choose to cancel the agreement under that section or under CONC 11.1.1 R.

CONC 11.1.4G

A firm may provide longer or additional cancellation rights voluntarily but, if it does, these should be on terms at least as favourable to the customer as those in this chapter, unless the differences are clearly explained.

Beginning of cancellation period

CONC 11.1.5R

The cancellation period begins:

  1. (1)

    either from the day the distance contract is made; or

  2. (2)

    from the day on which the consumer receives the contractual terms and conditions of the service and any other pre-contractual information required, as the case may be, under CONC 2.7.6 R or under CONC 2.7.12 R, if that is later than the date referred to in (1) above.

    [Note: article 6(1) of the Distance Marketing Directive in relation to distance contracts]

Disclosing the right to cancel

CONC 11.1.6R
  1. (1)

    The firm must disclose to a consumer in good time before or, if that is not possible, immediately after the consumer is bound by a contract to which the right to cancel applies under CONC 11.1.1 R, and in a durable medium, the existence of the right to cancel, its duration and the conditions for exercising it including information on the amount which the consumer may be required to pay, the consequences of not exercising it and practical instructions for exercising it, indicating the address to which the notification of cancellation should be sent.

  2. (2)

    This rule applies only where a consumer would not otherwise receive the information in (1) under a rule in this sourcebook from the firm (such as under CONC 2.7.2 R to CONC 2.7.5 R (the distance marketing disclosure rules)).

Exercising the right to cancel

CONC 11.1.7R

If a consumer exercises the right to cancel the consumer must, before the expiry of the cancellation period, notify this following the practical instructions given to him. The deadline shall be deemed to have been observed if the notification, if in a durable medium available and accessible to the recipient, is dispatched before the cancellation period expires.

[Note: article 6(6) of the Distance Marketing Directive for distance contracts]

CONC 11.1.8G

The firm should accept any indication that the consumer wishes to cancel as long as it satisfies the conditions for notification. In the event of any dispute, unless there is clear written evidence to the contrary, the firm should treat the date cited by the consumer as the date when the notification was dispatched.

Record keeping

CONC 11.1.9R

The firm must make adequate records concerning the exercise of a right to cancel and retain them for at least three years.

Effects of cancellation

CONC 11.1.10R

By exercising a right to cancel, a consumer withdraws from the contract and the contract is terminated.

CONC 11.1.11R
  1. (1)

    When a consumer exercises the right to cancel the consumer may only be required to pay, without any undue delay, for the service actually provided by the firm in accordance with the contract. The amount payable must not:

    1. (a)

      exceed an amount which is in proportion to the extent of the service already provided in comparison with the full coverage of the contract;

    2. (b)

      in any case be such that it could be construed as a penalty.

      [Note: article 7(1), (2) and (3) of the Distance Marketing Directive in relation to distance contracts]

  2. (2)

    The firm may not require a consumer to pay any amount on the basis of this rule unless it can prove that the consumer was duly informed about the amount payable and, in conformity with the distance marketing disclosure rules (CONC 2.7.2 R to CONC 2.7.5 R). However, in no case may the firm require such payment if it has commenced the performance of the contract before expiry of the cancellation period without the consumer's prior request.

    [Note: article 7(1), (2) and (3) of the Distance Marketing Directive in relation to distance contracts]

Firm's obligations on cancellation

CONC 11.1.12R

The firm must, without undue delay and within 30 calendar days, return to the consumer any sums it has received from the consumer except for any amount that the consumer may be required to pay under CONC 11.1.1 R. This period begins from the day on which the firm receives the notification of cancellation.

[Note: article 7(1), (2) and (3) of the Distance Marketing Directive in relation to distance contracts]

Consumer's obligations on cancellation

CONC 11.1.13R

The firm is entitled to receive from the consumer any sums or property the consumer has received from the firm without any undue delay and no later than within 30 calendar days. This period begins from the day on which the consumer dispatches the notification of cancellation.

[Note: article 7(5) of the Distance Marketing Directive in relation to distance contracts]

CONC 11.1.14R

Any sums payable under this section on cancellation of a contract are owed as simple contract debts and may be set off against each other.