On 2 October 2023, the FCA announced the end of the implementation period for the debt packager referral fee ban.

The FCA’s Policy Statement PS23/5 (Debt packagers: Feedback to CP23/5 and final rules) was published in June 2023. In it, the FCA said that existing debt packagers and their existing appointed representatives (ARs) at that time could benefit from an implementation period of 4 months up to 2 October 2023.

Today marks the final day of the implementation period and all debt packager firms are reminded that they must now be ready to comply with the ban. Where CONC 8.3.11R applies, debt packager firms who benefited from the implementation period must ensure they do not receive any commission, fee or any other financial consideration (referral fees) from a debt solution provider for any referral or related service conducted after 2 October 2023.

The ban does not apply to work carried out before 3 October, where the firm has an accrued contractual right to payment for the referral, or related services, in relation to a customer.

Any new debt packager firms, or those restarting their debt packager business, including newly appointed ARs, have already been subject to the ban from 2 June 2023.