You do not need a credit licence to allow members to pay on an instalment plan

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 18, 2021 13:54

Articles regarding regulation of golf membership finance causing clubs unnecessary concern

With the rush back to golf and increased membership demand it is unsurprising that the regulatory requirements of providing finance for golf membership are back in focus. In the last month alone, we have seen two articles from respected trade commentators, but these don’t address all options available to clubs.

Answering some basic questions can put you on the right course:

  1. Do your members pay more each year for a monthly option compared to up front payers? If not, then you may be able to take advantage of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) exempt credit provisions – a 0% short term solution. Compliance is strict: credit must be provided on a fixed sum basis with no fees or charges and repayable over 12 repayments or fewer within 12 months.

Charging a fee or interest, or offering discounts for up-front payment, will mean this credit is ineligible for the exemption.

  1. Will you run your own instalment scheme and keep the charges? If you operate the scheme, this probably makes you a lender. Lenders are required to apply to be directly authorised by the FCA, bringing you directly under the remit of the FCA. Approved lenders need to meet the full requirements of the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC) and other obligations including assessing borrowers’ affordability, Know Your Customer / due diligence, policies to help vulnerable customers, forbearance, conduct risk and more. You will pay FCA fees and levies. It can be a big distraction to get it right for a non-core activity and risks for getting it wrong.
  2. Or do you just want to allow members to access a solution when they need it without you being involved in any regulated activity? Here, you simply allow the lender to advertise its finance to your members via a link on your website, a leaflet sitting in the clubhouse or as part of an integration with a payment partner who themselves are regulated. You are not actively engaged in the promotion of finance, it becomes just an option that it is available to any one member who accesses it directly. At Fairway Credit we find this is the most popular route with the majority of our 700 clubs taking advantage of the guidance we provide to clubs to help them stay on the right side of regulation.

At Fairway Credit, we recognise that each club has its own requirements, and we provide bespoke solutions along with regional training teams. We believe that it is this focus on supporting our clubs and their members that has led to us being the only constant in golf memberships whilst many others have come and gone. That’s why we are, by far the preferred option for the golf community.

Our team would be happy to talk through the options above, so for more information on how we can help managers, clubs and their members please contact us on; 0344 736 9818

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 18, 2021 13:54
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1 Comment

  1. Foster May 17, 12:00

    Maybe an interesting point for some. golf clubs have never been busier than over the last year.

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