Key points: Consumer Credit Licence required by HEIs for tuition fee repayment plans of five or more instalments or payable outside 12 months, for debt counselling, and for the provision of loans; relevant category must be selected for Consumer Credit Licences; unlicensed activities unenforceable against the debtor (and an offence); validation of agreements may be available, but is not automatic; new provisions to transfer the responsibility for regulating the consumer credit market from the OFT to a new body.
The Government intends to transfer consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 1 April 2014, at which point the OFT will cease to exist.
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) came into effect in April 2012 and is a tax advantaged venture capital scheme, similar to the established Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
Under the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme, a company (or a company and its subsidiaries) with assets of less than £30 million and fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees is able to award tax advantaged share options to selected employees, provided they meet certain criteria.
The Bribery Act 2010 (the ‘Act’), which came into force in April 2011, applies to HEIs due to the commercial activities in which they are involved.
On 9 October 2012, the SFO issued statements of revised policy on prosecution in respect of facilitation payments, business expenditure and self-reporting.