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CONSUMER CREDIT ACT, 1995
144. —(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person shall not engage in the business of being a credit intermediary unless—
(a) (i) he is the holder of an authorisation (“a credit intermediaries authorisation”) granted for that purpose by the Director, and
(ii) he holds a letter of recognition from each undertaking for which he is a credit intermediary, or
(b) he is the holder of a mortgage intermediaries authorisation under section 116 .
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to a person who holds a written authorisation under section 97 , which is for the time being in force, and who, apart from the business to which that authorisation relates, is not otherwise engaged in the business of being a credit intermediary.
(3) A holder of an authorisation shall only engage in the business of being a credit intermediary in the name specified in the holder's authorisation.
(4) An application for an authorisation shall be in writing and in such form as the Director may determine and shall contain—
(a) the true name of the applicant,
(b) the name under which the applicant trades,
(c) the name of any undertaking for which the applicant acts or intends to act as a credit intermediary,
(d) the address of any business premises of the applicant to which the application relates, and
(e) such other information that the Director may require.
(5) An application for an authorisation shall be accompanied by a fee of—
(a) £500 in the case of a company or a partnership, or
(b) £250 in the case of a sole trader.
(6) Any of the fees referred to in subsection (5) may by regulations be varied.
(7) An authorisation shall be valid for the period of 12 months commencing on the date specified therein and shall expire at the end of that period.
(8) An authorisation shall state—
(a) the true name of the holder,
(b) the name under which the holder is authorised to engage in the business of being a credit intermediary,
(c) the address of the business premises of the holder, and
(d) the name of each of the undertakings for which he acts as a credit intermediary.
(9) The Director may refuse to grant an authorisation on one or more of the following grounds, namely, that—
(a) the application does not satisfy the conditions specified in subsection (1) (a) (ii),
(b) the applicant or any business with which he was connected was, during the previous 5 years, convicted of a criminal offence,
(c) the applicant is the holder of—
(i) a bookmaker's licence issued under the Betting Act, 1931 ,
(ii) a licence for the sale of intoxicating liquor granted under the Licensing Acts, 1833 to 1994,
(iii) a gaming licence issued under the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956 ,
(iv) a pawnbroker's licence granted under the Pawnbrokers Act, 1964 , as amended by this Act, or
(v) a moneylender's licence,
(d) the applicant has failed to provide a current Revenue tax clearance certificate in respect of himself or his business,
(e) the applicant is not, or is no longer, in the opinion of the Director, a fit and proper person to carry on the business of credit intermediary, or
(f) the applicant has failed to comply with any regulations made under subsection (10).
(10) Regulations may provide that the holder of an authorisation shall not act or hold himself out to be a credit intermediary unless he effects a policy of professional indemnity insurance in a specified form, indemnifying him to such sum, in such manner, in respect of such matters and valid for such minimum period as the Minister may prescribe.
(11) The Director may suspend or revoke an authorisation if he is satisfied that since becoming the holder of an authorisation, a credit intermediary or any business with which he is connected has been convicted of a criminal offence or a credit intermediary has become the holder of a licence referred to in subsection (9) (c) or has failed to comply with any regulations made under subsection (10).
(12) Whenever the Director proposes to refuse to grant, suspend or revoke an authorisation he shall notify the applicant or the holder of the authorisation, as the case may be, of his proposal and shall, if any representations are made to him in writing by such applicant or holder within 14 days of the notification, consider the representations.
(13) Whenever the Director, having considered any representations that may have been made under subsection (12), decides to refuse to grant, suspend or revoke an authorisation, he shall notify the applicant for, or as the case may be, the holder of the authorisation, of the decision and such applicant or holder may, within 7 days of receipt of such notification, appeal against such decision to the judge of the Circuit Court within whose Circuit the business to which the authorisation relates is to be carried on.
(14) A notification referred to in subsection (12) or (13) shall be delivered personally or sent by pre-paid registered post to the business address of the applicant for an authorisation or the holder of the authorisation concerned, as the case may be.
(15) Where a notification under subsection (12) or (13) relates to a refusal to grant a second or subsequent authorisation or a suspension or revocation of an authorisation, the refusal, suspension or revocation shall take effect upon the expiration of the 7 days allowed for the appeal.
(16) Where an appeal is made under subsection (13) by an applicant for a second or subsequent authorisation in respect of a refusal to grant such authorisation or by a holder of an authorisation in respect of a suspension or revocation of an authorisation, the refusal, suspension or revocation shall stand suspended until the appeal is determined or withdrawn and notwithstanding subsection (7) any authorisation held by the applicant at the time of the appeal shall continue in force until the determination or withdrawal of the appeal.
(17) On the hearing of an appeal under subsection (13) in relation to the decision of the Director to refuse to grant, suspend or revoke an authorisation, the Circuit Court may either confirm the decision or allow the appeal and, where an appeal is allowed, the Director shall grant the authorisation or shall not suspend or revoke the authorisation, as the case may be.
(18) A decision of the Circuit Court on an appeal under subsection (13) shall be final save that, by leave of that Court, an appeal from the decision shall lie to the High Court on a specified question of law.
(19) In an appeal under subsection (13) the Director shall not be awarded or ordered to pay costs.
(20) In this section “authorisation” means a credit intermediaries authorisation.
Obligation to display copy of credit intermediaries authorisation.
145. —The holder of a credit intermediaries authorisation shall display in a prominent position in any premises where the holder engages in the business of being a credit intermediary—
(a) an authorised copy of the authorisation, and
(b) a notice stating clearly the name of any undertaking for whom the holder acts as a credit intermediary.
Prohibition on alteration or falsification of credit intermediaries authorisation.
146. —(1) A person, other than the Director or an officer of the Director acting on behalf of the Director, shall not alter or attempt to alter a credit intermediaries authorisation or an authorised copy thereof.
(2) A person shall not falsify or attempt to falsify a credit intermediaries authorisation or any authorised copy thereof.
Amendment of credit intermediaries authorisation.
147. —(1) Where the holder of a credit intermediaries authorisation ceases to act on behalf of any undertaking specified in the authorisation or commences to act as a credit intermediary on behalf of any undertaking not specified in the authorisation, the holder shall upon such cessation or commencement inform in writing the Director of the changes and forward the authorisation to the Director, and the Director shall accordingly, as he sees fit, amend the authorisation or issue another authorisation incorporating the change.
(2) The holder of a credit intermediaries authorisation to whom subsection (1) applies shall comply with the requirements of that subsection.
Nature of “finance arranged” to be explained to consumer.
148. —Where a consumer negotiates with a seller in respect of the acquisition of goods and the seller, being a credit intermediary, offers, or is requested by the consumer, to arrange a financial accommodation for the consumer in respect of the acquisition of the goods, the seller shall, as soon as may be reasonable, before any agreement, in relation to the goods under negotiation resulting from the offer or request, is entered into, disclose in writing to the consumer—
(a) the nature of the financial accommodation,
(b) the amount, number and frequency of payments and the total amount that the consumer would have to pay under an agreement, and, where applicable, the APR,
(c) who has the property in the goods during the agreement,
(d) the name of any undertaking for which the seller acts as a credit intermediary, and
(e) that the seller receives a commission, payment or consideration of any kind from an undertaking for arranging any such financial accommodation between the consumer and the undertaking.