The Brexit is unlikely to have a major impact on the regulation of UK consumer credit companies in the short term, according to Greg Standing, partner at Gowling WLG.
Commenting on what may happen if Britain leaves the EU, Standing said: "It is very unlikely that all EU law will simply be repealed, certainly in the foreseeable future. As far as consumer credit is concerned, whilst the EU has imposed certain requirements such as the use of the SECCI, the majority of requirements are now imposed by our FCA Handbook.
"With the ongoing review of the Consumer Credit Act, it is likely we will see more consolidation in the Handbook and it is hard to see how Brexit will have any impact on this. In the longer run and generally speaking, we are bound to see some divergence between UK and EU law in the future. This presents a threat and opportunity"
Standing said he saw the main area of concern to be the impact on the economy and warned that no one can predict the long term impact. In the short term, he said: "A downturn, if one materialises, and a loss of consumer confidence, is bound to feed into new car sales figures and consequently into finance. We may see an increase in insolvencies. Much will depend on the politicians and how much calm they can bring as the next few months play out.
"Those companies exposed to the currency markets and European bank loans are likely to be affected in the short term, whilst there will be much for pan-European businesses to ponder in the medium and longer term. Investment decisions may be put on hold; on the other hand international businesses may look to capitalise on the fall in sterling to make acquisitions on the ‘cheap’."