Following on from a Government White Paper (Fair, clear and competitive: a consumer credit market for the 21st century', Cm 6040; ISBN 0101604025) published in December 2003, and a joint DTI/DWP paper published in July 2004, this Act contains provisions which principally amend the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The aim is to modernise the current consumer credit regime and to promote innovation and market competition, whilst also providing adequate levels of consumer protection, choice and information. It includes provisions in relation to: the regulation of all consumer credit and consumer hire agreements subject to certain exemptions; the licensing of consumer credit and hire businesses and ancillary credit services; the functions and powers of OFT in relation to licensing consumer credit and hire providers; to enable debtors to challenge unfair relationships with creditors; and the extension of the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service (established under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) to provide for an Ombudsman scheme to hear complaints.
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