Consumer Credit Act 1995
Licensing of pawnbrokers.
153.—The Pawnbrokers Act, 1964, is hereby amended by the substitution for sections 7 to 10 of the following sections:
“Prohibition of carrying on the business of pawnbroker without licence.
7.—(1) A person shall not carry on the business of a pawnbroker at any premises unless he is the holder of a licence which is in force in respect of those premises.
(2) A person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.
8.—(1) The Director may grant to a person a licence (‘a pawnbroker's licence’) upon such terms and conditions as he sees fit to a person to carry on the business of pawnbroker at a particular premises.
(2) An application for a licence shall be in writing and in such form as the Director may determine and shall be accompanied by a fee of £1,000 or such other amount as may stand specified in regulations made by the Minister.
(3) The Director may refuse to grant a licence on one or more of the following grounds, namely, that—
(a) satisfactory evidence has not been given of the good character of the applicant,
(b) satisfactory evidence has been given that the applicant, or any person responsible or proposed to be responsible for the management of the applicant's business as a pawnbroker, is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence,
(c) the applicant, or any person responsible or proposed to be responsible for the management of the applicant's business as a pawnbroker, is by order of a court disqualified from obtaining a licence,
(d) the applicant has failed to satisfy the Director that he is a person of financial stability,
(e) 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 moneylender's licence granted under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995, or
(v) an auctioneer's licence granted under the Auctioneers and House Agents Act, 1947,
(f) the applicant's premises are not suitable for the carrying on of a pawnbroker's business, or
(g) the applicant or any business with which he was connected was, during the previous 5 years, convicted of a criminal offence.
(4) A licence shall be valid for the period of 12 months commencing on the date specified therein and shall expire at the end of that period.
(5) The Director may suspend or revoke a licence where he is satisfied that a pawnbroker has become the holder of a licence referred to in subsection (3) (e) or has failed to comply with any of the terms or conditions of the licence or a pawnbroker or any business with which he is connected has been convicted of a criminal offence.
(6) Whenever the Director proposes to refuse to grant, suspend or revoke a licence he shall notify the applicant or the holder of the licence, 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.
(7) Whenever the Director, having considered any representations that may have been made under subsection (6), decides to refuse to grant, suspend or revoke a licence, he shall notify the applicant for, or as the case may be, the holder of, the licence of the decision and the grounds for such 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 licence relates is to be carried on.
(8) A notification referred to in subsection (6) or (7) shall be delivered personally or sent by prepaid registered post to the business address of the applicant for a licence or the holder of the licence concerned, as the case may be.
(9) Where a notification under subsection (6) or (7) relates to a refusal to grant a second or subsequent licence or a suspension or revocation of a licence, the refusal, suspension or revocation shall take effect upon the expiration of the 7 days allowed for the appeal.
(10) Where an appeal is made under subsection (7) by an applicant for a second or subsequent licence in respect of a refusal to grant such licence or by a holder of a licence in respect of a suspension or revocation of a licence, the refusal, suspension or revocation shall stand suspended until the appeal is determined or withdrawn and notwithstanding subsection (4) any licence held by the applicant at the time of the appeal shall continue in force until the determination or withdrawal of the appeal.
(11) On the hearing of an appeal under subsection (7) in relation to a decision of the Director to refuse to grant, suspend or revoke a licence, the Circuit Court may either confirm the decision or allow the appeal and, where an appeal is allowed, the Director shall grant the licence or shall not suspend or revoke the licence, as the case may be.
(12) A decision of the Circuit Court on an appeal under subsection (7) 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.
(13) In an appeal under subsection (7) the Director shall not be awarded or ordered to pay costs.
Transfer of licence.
9.—(1) The holder of a licence may apply to the Director to transfer the licence to another person and the Director may at his absolute discretion transfer the licence according to such terms and conditions as he sees fit subject to the person satisfying the requirements of section 8 (3).
(2) An application for the transfer of a licence under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by a fee of £500 or such other amount as may stand specified in regulations made by the Minister.
10.—A person who in respect of an application to the Director—
(a) under section 8, for the grant of a licence, or
(b) under section 9 for the transfer of a licence,
wilfully gives any information which is false or misleading shall be guilty of an offence.”.