asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement about the renewal of licences under the Consumer Credit Act.
I have today laid regulations to extend the period of standard licences under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 from 10 to 15 years.The system of licensing has been in place for nearly 10 years. The Office of Fair Trading is in the process of computerising its licensing operation. In the long term this will benefit business by substantially reducing the time taken to process applications. I have therefore agreed to a request by the Director General for a five-year extension in the validity of licences to ensure that the computer system is fully operative well before the first licences issued are due for renewal.The statutory instrument that I have laid is the Consumer Credit (Period of Standard Licence) (Amendment) Regulations 1986.