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PERG 8.17 Financial promotions concerning agreements for qualifying credit

PERG 8.17.1G

Section 21 applies to financial promotions concerning agreements for qualifying credit and relevant consumer credit.4 PERG 8.17.1A G to PERG 8.17.18 G has guidance about the treatment of financial promotionsconcerning agreements for qualifying credit. PERG 8.17-AG has guidance about financial promotions concerning relevant consumer credit.4

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Introduction

PERG 8.17.1AG

Section 21 also applies to financial promotions concerning home reversion plans,3 home purchase plans and regulated sale and rent back agreements3. Guidance on these activities and related financial promotions is given in PERG 14 (Guidance on home reversion, home purchase and regulated sale and rent back3activities).

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Controlled investment: agreement for qualifying credit

PERG 8.17.2G

Rights under an agreement for qualifying credit are a controlled investment. Qualifying credit is defined in paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order (Controlled activities) as credit provided pursuant to an agreement under which:

  1. (1)

    the lender is a person who carries on the regulated activity of entering into a regulated mortgage contract (whether or not he is an authorised or exempt person under the Act); and

  2. (2)

    the obligation of the borrower to repay is secured (in whole or in part) on land.

PERG 8.17.3G

An agreement for qualifying credit includes the following types of loan in addition to those that would be a regulated mortgage contract, but in each case only if the lender carries on the regulated activity of entering into regulated mortgage contracts:

  1. (1)

    [deleted]6

    6
  2. (2)

    secured loans for buy-to-let or other purely investment purposes;

  3. (3)

    loans secured on land situated outside the United Kingdom;

  4. (4)

    loans that include some unsecured credit such as a flexible mortgage that includes an unsecured credit card; and

  5. (5)

    commercial mortgages.

Controlled activities

PERG 8.17.4G

There are four controlled activities involving qualifying credit:

  1. (1)

    providing qualifying credit;

  2. (2)

    arranging qualifying credit;

  3. (3)

    advising on qualifying credit; and

  4. (4)

    agreeing to carry on any of (1) to (3).

PERG 8.17.5G

Providing qualifying credit is a controlled activity under paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order. In the FCA's view, 'providing' means, in this context, providing as lender; an intermediary does not 'provide' qualifying credit.

PERG 8.17.6G

Arranging qualifying credit is a controlled activity under paragraph 10A of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order; that is, making arrangements:

  1. (1)

    for another person to enter as borrower into an agreement for qualifying credit; or

  2. (2)

    for a borrower under a regulated mortgage contract entered into on or after 31 October 2004 or a borrower under a legacy CCA mortgage contract7 to vary the terms of that contract in such a way as to vary that person’s7 obligations under that contract.

This means that invitations and inducements relating to the services of mortgage arrangers will potentially be within the scope of section 21 of the Act.

PERG 8.17.7G

Advising on qualifying credit is8 a controlled activity under paragraph 10B of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order; that is, advising a person if the advice is:

8
  1. (1)

    given to the person in his capacity as a borrower or potential borrower; and

  2. (2)

    advice on the merits of that person’s7 doing any of the following:

    1. (a)

      entering into an agreement for qualifying credit; or

    2. (b)

      varying the terms of a regulated mortgage contract entered into by that person’s7 on or after 31 October 2004 or the terms of a legacy CCA mortgage contract entered into by that person7 in such a way as to vary that person’s7 obligations under that contract.

This means that invitations and inducements relating to the services of mortgage advisers will potentially be within the scope of Section 21 of the Act.

PERG 8.17.8G

Agreeing to carry on each of these three controlled activities is also8 a controlled activity under paragraph 11 of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order.

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Application of exemptions to financial promotions about agreements for qualifying credit

PERG 8.17.9G

The exemptions in Part IV of the Financial Promotion Order (Exempt communications: all controlled activities) will apply to financial promotions about qualifying credit . Some of the exemptions in Part VI of the Financial Promotion Order (Exempt communications: certain controlled activities) will also apply. Those of particular note are referred to in PERG 8.17.10 G to PERG 8.17.12 G.

2
PERG 8.17.10G

Article 46 (Qualifying credit to bodies corporate) exempts any financial promotion about providing qualifying credit (or relevant consumer credit or consumer hire)4 if it is:

  1. (1)

    made to or directed at bodies corporate only; or

  2. (2)

    accompanied by an indication that the qualifying credit to which it relates is only available to bodies corporate.

PERG 8.17.11G

[deleted]1

1
PERG 8.17.12G

Article 28B (Real time communications: introductions) exempts a real time financial promotion that relates to one or more of the controlled activities about regulated mortgage contracts, as well as home reversion plans, home purchase plans,4 regulated sale and rent back agreements3, certain consumer hire agreements and relevant credit agreements4. The exemption is subject to the following conditions being satisfied:

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  1. (1)

    the financial promotion must be made for the purpose of, or with a view to, introducing the recipient to a person ('N') who is:

    1. (a)

      an authorised person who carries on the controlled activity to which the communication relates; or

    2. (b)

      an appointed representative, where the controlled activity is also a regulated activity in respect of which the appointed representative is exempt or in relation to which sections 20 (1) and (1A) and 23 (1A) of the Act do not apply by virtue of section 39(1D) of the Act (see SUP 12.2.2AG (3));4 or

    3. (c)

      an overseas person who carries on the controlled activity to which the communication relates; for this purpose, an 'overseas person' is a person who carries on any of the controlled activities about home finance transactions2 or of providing relevant consumer credit or consumer hire4 but does not do so, or offer to do so, from a permanent place of business maintained by him in the United Kingdom; and

  2. (2)

    the person ('M') communicating the financial promotion:

    1. (a)

      must not receive any money paid by the recipient in connection with any transaction that the recipient enters into with or through N as a result of the introduction, other than money payable to M on M's own account; and

    2. (b)

      before making the introduction, must disclose to the borrower the following information where it applies to M:

      1. (i)

        whether M is a member of the same group as N;

      2. (ii)

        details of any payment which M will receive from N, by way of fee or commission, for introducing the recipient to N; and

      3. (iii)

        an indication of any other reward or advantage arising out of M's introducing to N.

PERG 8.17.13G

Introducers can check whether a person is an authorised person or an appointed representative by visiting the FCA's register at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register.If an authorised person has permission to carry on a regulated activity (which can be checked on the FCA's register) it is reasonable, in the FCA's view, to conclude that the authorised person carries on that activity (but not a controlled activity which is not a regulated activity). The FCA would normally expect introducers to request and receive confirmation of other facts necessary to satisfy the condition in PERG 8.17.12G (1), prior to proceeding with an introduction.

PERG 8.17.14G

In the FCA's view, money payable to an introducer on his own account includes money legitimately due to him for services rendered to the borrower, whether in connection with the introduction or otherwise. It also includes sums payable in connection with transfer of property to an introducer (for example, a housebuilder) by a borrower. For example, article 28B allows a housebuilder to receive the purchase price on a property that he sells to a borrower, whom he previously introduced to an authorised person or appointed representative to help him finance the purchase in return for a fee payable by the borrower, and still take the benefit of the exclusion. This is because the sums that the housebuilder receives in connection with the introduction and the sale of his property to the borrower are both 'payable to him on his own account'. The housebuilder could also receive a commission from the person introduced to.

PERG 8.17.15G

In the FCA's view, the provision of details of fees or commission referred to in PERG 8.17.12G (2)(b)(ii) does not require an introducer to provide an actual sum to the borrower, where it is not possible to calculate the full amount due prior to the introduction. This may arise in cases where the fee or commission is a percentage of the eventual loan taken out and the amount of the required loan is not known at the time of the introduction. In these cases, it would be sufficient for the introducer to disclose the method of calculation of the fee or commission, for example the percentage of the eventual loan to be made by N.

PERG 8.17.16G

In the FCA's view, the information condition in PERG 8.17.12G (2)(b)(iii) requires the introducer to indicate to the borrower any other advantages accruing to him as a result of ongoing arrangements with N relating to the introduction of borrowers. This may include, for example, indirect benefits such as office space, travel expenses, subscription fees. This and other relevant information may, where appropriate, be provided on a standard form basis to the borrower. The FCA would normally expect an introducer to keep a written record of disclosures made to the borrower under article 33A of the Regulated Activities Order including those cases where disclosure is made on an oral basis only.

Interaction with providing relevant consumer credit

PERG 8.17.19G

4Rights under a relevant credit agreement are also a controlled investment. A relevant credit agreement is a credit agreement other than a regulated mortgage contract or a regulated home purchase plan. Entering into a relevant credit agreement as lender, or exercising or having the rights to exercise the rights of the lender under such an agreement, is a controlled activity under paragraph 10BA of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order, except where the agreement is for the provision of qualifying credit. Further guidance on providing relevant consumer credit is given in PERG 8.17-A.

PERG 8.17.20G

4CONC 3 contains rules about financial promotions relating to credit-related regulated activity. CONC 3 does not apply, however, to the communication, or approval for communication, of a financial promotion to the extent it concerns qualifying credit. MCOB 3A5 applies to the communication or approval of a financial promotion of qualifying credit. This means that a financial promotion about credit will not usually be subject to both MCOB 3A5 and CONC 3 unless it is about secured and unsecured lending. Guidance on the potential application of MCOB 3A5 and CONC 3 to particular types of financial promotion of credit is given in the table in PERG 8.17.21 G. Firms must also comply with Principle 7 (a firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients, and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading).

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PERG 8.17.21G

4Guide to potential application of MCOB 3A5 and CONC 3 to financial promotion of credit. This table belongs to PERG 8.17.20 G.

5

Subject of promotion

MCOB 3A5 may apply

5

CONC 3 may apply

(1)

regulated mortgage contracts

Yes

No

(2)

credit agreements secured on land where the lender also enters into regulated mortgage contracts as lender

Yes

No

(3)

credit agreements not secured on land, whether or not the lender also enters into regulated mortgage contracts as lender

No

Yes

(4)

credit agreements secured on land where the lender does not enter into regulated mortgage contracts as lender

No

Yes

(5)

credit agreements partly secured on land that include some unsecured credit and where the lender enters into regulated mortgage contracts as lender

Yes

No

(6)

credit agreements with features as in (1), (2) or (5) promoted in combination with other unsecured credit agreements

Yes

Yes