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Credit regulations phase in a victory for common sense.

The Government's decision to delay the introduction of new rules governing consumer credit is a welcome move.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Credit regulations phase in a victory for common sense.

Reacting to the announcement yesterday (Thursday) that the new UK Consumer Credit Regulations will be phased in and only fully come into force in February 2011, the British Retail Consortium said it was victory for commonsense.

The new consumer regulations will be published this March. The BRC had urged the Government to delay their enforcement from their original date of June because that would give businesses only three months to understand and implement them.

Retailers offer low value credit in a convenient and responsible way to help customers spread the costs of buying essential goods. The new regulations will update the existing rules on all credit agreements, introducing new requirements on lenders such as providing easy to understand explanations about the credit agreement.

The new rules will now be phased in from this June, so retailers who are ready to comply with them can start then but those who need more time, to do things such as train staff and update their IT systems, will have until February 2011. The BRC is now calling on the Government to publish as soon as possible its guidance on how the transitional period will work to avoid any confusion.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "The decision to phase-in the new consumer regulations and delay their full enforcement until next year is a victory for commonsense.

"The new consumer credit rules will be published in March. It wouldn't have been reasonable to give retailers only three months to understand and implement them, especially with the busy Easter trading period coming right in the middle.

"Phasing in the implementation of the new consumer regulations will allow those retailers who can meet the changes to start doing so this June, while giving those who need more time a sufficient cushion.

"To avoid any confusion about these transitional arrangements, the Government must publish the guidance on how the phasing in period will work soon."

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