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BERR launches consultation on European Consumer Credit Directive

BERR launches consultation on European Consumer Credit Directive

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2009/107) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 14 April 2009

The Government today launched a consultation on the European Consumer Credit Directive.

The Directive aims to protect consumers, offer them new rights and set out common standards across the EU in relation to a range of unsecured credit products.

The provisions to be consulted on include:

* A 14-day right for consumers to cancel any credit agreement without penalty.
* A standardised information form setting out important information for consumers before they sign a credit agreement.
* Lenders will have to explain their products to help consumers make the right choices.
* Lenders will have a responsibility to check consumer's creditworthiness.
* A consumer right to make partial early repayment (this is in addition to the existing right to repay early in full).

Consumer Minister, Gareth Thomas, said: "We want to further promote responsible lending and responsible borrowing. These measures will help with that objective.

"It's important we hear the views of consumer groups and the credit industry to ensure that we improve consumer protection whilst taking into account the practical concerns of business."

The consultation will close on 10 June 2009. To contribute, visit: http://www.berr.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

1. Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers and repealing Council Directive 87/102/EEC (Official Journal L 133/66 of 22 May 2008) was adopted in April 2008 and must be implemented in UK law by June 2010. The Directive does not apply to mortgages.

2. The scope of the Directive covers a narrower range of consumer credit products than existing UK legislation and one issue on which BERR is consulting is the extent to which provisions should be applied to all products caught by the Consumer Credit Act. For example, business lending and loans over E75,000 (£60,260) are exempt from the provisions of the Directive, whereas in the United Kingdom lending to micro-businesses up to £25,000 is covered and we have no ceiling for other credit agreements.

3. For more information go to:
http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/consumer-finance/ec-directives/page29927.html

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