May 17th 2005.
The Consumer Credit Act, Phase Two
Last year, The Department of Trade and Industry completed the first major review of the consumer credit laws in more than 30 years.
The first phase of changes, affecting advertising, occurred in October 2004, where alterations were made to the way finance providers and dealers advertised credit. These changes have had a wide impact, both on the market and on anyone offering finance facilities.
The next phase of changes will come into force on May 31st, 2005, and will affect form and content of finance agreements; pre-contract information; and early settlement calculation rules.
These changes are designed to give consumers a greater level of information, allowing them to make an informed decision and compare different credit options when making a purchase.
What does this mean in real terms? The new regulations will impact on all finance providers, including Black Horse, and its dealers in the following areas: Proposal information - capturing the right information at proposal stage; pre-contract information - disclosure of key pieces of information to the customer prior to them signing the agreement; document form and content - revisions to the content and layout of agreements to make them easier for customers to understand what they are signing for; early settlement - implementation of a new actuarial settlement calculation method. This will apply to all new loans written after May 31st, 2005. Existing loans for terms of ten years and less will be covered from May 31st, 2007.
Other affected areas include distance marketing - new consumer rights came into force in October 2004. This has been fully integrated within the new proposal and documentation process. Finally, there have been technology changes to the Black Horse eQuips automated proposal system.
Phil Stones, Managing Director of Black Horse, said: "We are currently going through all the necessary changes to ensure that we are compliant, but we will also be keeping the needs of our dealers in mind. We want to make it as simple as possible for dealers to continue to handle their customers effectively and profitably, and that's why we're bringing out a range of additional support items to help."
Black Horse provides a help CD, which was despatched to all supporting dealers at the beginning of May.
For further information, contact your local Account Manager or Fiona Robertson, PR Manager on 0131 311 2127.