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If you are being lent money by a business you can check whether or not the firm lending you money is a legitimate business.

All businesses who lend individuals money have to be regulated by the Government’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If a business does not have a consumer credit licence from the FCA then if they lend you money the company or person or persons lending you the money is breaking the law.

In addition if someone is lending you money illegally this means that – under the law – you do not owe the lender any money as all lenders need a consumer credit licence before they can start lending and asking for their money back.

To check whether the person or company offering you a loan has a consumer credit licence, you can check this by going to the Financial Conduct Authority website - see related link.

If you do not see the firm listed on the FCA website, then you can confidentially contact the police who can make further inquiries.

Q.   I am thinking of transferring money abroad to friends and family and I am thinking of changing pounds into foreign currency. How do I know the company I am thinking of going to for this service is a legitimate firm?

A. Businesses who provide this service have to be registered with Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC). If they are not registered with HMRC, then these services cannot be legally provided by this company or person.

You can check whether a business has this form of authorisation by going to the HMRC website and checking their details on this website which is www.gov.uk/money-laundering-regulations-supervised-business-register

Q.  Do pawnbrokers follow a code of conduct?

A.  Yes.

Most pawnbrokers in London are not just regulated by the FCA but are members of the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) who have a code of conduct for their members. To check if the pawnbroker near you is a member of the NPA visit their site - see related link.

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