The Financial Conduct Authority has formally taken responsibility for regulating the £200bn consumer credit market.
Some 50,000 businesses which offer some form of credit to the UK consumer will now be subject to the FCA’s consumer protection rules and Principles for Business.
This means every person that uses a credit card, has an overdraft, seeks help from a debt management firm, or takes out a loan will be better protected than before.
Martin Wheatley, chief executive said Financial Conduct Authority, said: “We have a big task ahead; it’s our job to make sure firms put their customers at the heart of their business and don’t just see them as an easy target or a profit line.
“We won’t shy away from taking tough, decisive action to make sure that the people who rely on these products are treated fairly.
“There will be some firms that don’t get the message, or won’t play ball, those firms should know that we won’t let them carry on.”
The 50,000 businesses will now join the 27,000 already regulated by the FCA.