Consumer Credit Act 1995

Credit intermediaries.

144

144. F116 [ (1) Subject to subsection (2) , a person shall not engage in the business of being a credit intermediary unless the person

( a ) is the holder of an authorisation granted for that purpose by the Director, and

( b ) holds a letter of recognition from each undertaking on whose behalf the person is a credit intermediary. ]

(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.

F117 [ (5) An application for an authorisation must be accompanied by the requisite fee.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) , the requisite fee is

( a ) in the case of a company or partnership, 630 or, if the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment by order specifies some other amount for the purpose of this paragraph, that other amount, and

( b ) in the case of a sole trader, 315 or, if the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment by order specifies some other amount for the purpose of this paragraph, that other amount. ]

(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,

F118 [ ( d ) the applicant has failed to provide satisfactory evidence that a current tax clearance certificate issued in relation to the authorisation has been issued in accordance with the provisions of F119 [ section 1094 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 ] , ]

( 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).

F120 [ (9A) ( a ) Where in relation to an authorisation

(i) an application in accordance with F119 [ section 1094 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 ] , for a tax clearance certificate has been made

(I) not less than four months prior to the commencement date of such an authorisation, and

(II) a tax clearance certificate has not yet been issued or refused,

or

(ii) a tax clearance certificate has been refused and an appeal against such refusal has been made and accepted in accordance with subsection (6) of the said F119 [ section 1094 ] ,

and in either case, the authorisation could, but for the provisions relating to a tax clearance certificate, have been issued, then

(I) in a case where an authorisation has been granted in respect of the previous authorisation period, such authorisation may continue in force beyond its latest expiry date pending

(A) the issue or refusal of a tax clearance certificate, or

(B) in the case of an appeal, the final determination of that appeal,

and

(II) in a case where an authorisation has not been granted in respect of the previous authorisation period, an authorisation may be issued temporarily and remain in force pending

(A) the issue or refusal of a tax clearance certificate, or

(B) in the case of an appeal, the final determination of that appeal:

Provided that the amount of the fee that would be payable on the application for the authorisation is duly deposited with the Director.

( b ) Every authorisation issued temporarily or continued in force in accordance with paragraph (a) shall, while it remains in force, be deemed to be an authorisation within the meaning of this section.

( c ) Where

(i) a determination is made to issue a tax clearance certificate, in respect of an application referred to in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) , or

(ii) the final determination of an appeal referred to in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) is to the effect that the application for a tax clearance certificate in relation to an authorisation is an acceptable application,

and where the tax clearance certificate has been issued, the authorisation continued in force or issued temporarily under this subsection shall expire upon the grant of an authorisation under this section and the duty deposited shall be set against the appropriate duty payable on the grant of the authorisation.

( d ) Where

(i) a determination is made to refuse a tax clearance certificate, in respect of an application referred to in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) , or

(ii) the final determination of an appeal under subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) is to the effect that the refusal of an application for a tax clearance certificate in relation to an authorisation is a valid refusal,

the authorisation continued in force or issued temporarily under this subsection shall expire not later than seven days after such refusal or after the determination of such appeal, and the amount of any duty deposited in excess of the proportion of that duty attributable to the period when the authorisation was temporarily in force shall be repaid. ]

F121 [ (10) The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment may make regulations prohibiting the holder of an authorisation from acting as or claiming to be a credit intermediary, unless there is in force in respect of that holder a policy of professional indemnity insurance that complies with such requirements as are specified in those regulations. ]

(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.