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IP/11/97

Brussels, 27 January 2011

Consumers: Commission urges the UK to transpose the Consumer Credit Directive

The European Commission has asked the United Kingdom to notify some remaining national implementing measures as required by the Consumer Credit Directive 2008/48/EC. The Consumer Credit Directive (2008/48/EC) aims to harmonise certain aspects of the national laws and regulations on credit for consumers, and to offer a sufficient degree of consumer protection to ensure consumer confidence. The request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion" under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may decide to refer this Member State to the EU's Court of Justice.

The United Kingdom has not communicated all the measures implementing the Consumer Credit Directive (2008/48/EC).

Member States were supposed to implement the Consumer Credit Directive before 11 June 2010, but the UK has failed to do so.

The Commission initiated the infringement procedure, described in Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), last year by sending a letter of formal notice to the UK.

By sending a reasoned opinion, the Commission formally requests this country to take action to comply with EU law within two months. Failing that, the Commission may decide to refer the country to the EU Court of Justice if action to ensure compliance is not taken.

Background

Developing a more transparent and efficient credit market is vital for EU consumers who need to be able to compare credit offers available throughout the EU.

The Consumer Credit Directive (2008/48/EC) aims to harmonise certain aspects of the national laws and regulations on credit for consumers, and to offer a sufficient degree of consumer protection to ensure consumer confidence

The Directive is a piece of forward-looking legislation which takes into account the continuously evolving market in consumer credit and the increasing mobility of European citizens. It can be adapted to future forms of credit and allows Member States the appropriate degree of flexibility in their implementation.

The Directive allows for the free movement of credit offers to take place under optimum conditions for both those who offer credit and those who require it, with due regard to specific national situations.

The law sets out requirements on standard information to be provided when advertising unsecured lending services.

One of the core areas to be harmonised is the calculation of the Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APR). Harmonised rules for calculating and presenting APR are to allow consumers easily to compare credit offers in the entire Single Market. The provisions in this area are intended to guarantee a high and equivalent level of consumer protection throughout the European Union.

For more information on the infringement procedure please visit: MEMO/11/45

For more information on consumer financial services please visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/rights/fin_serv_en.htm


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