Introduction to Retail Credit Firms and Home Reversion Firms  

From 1 February 2008, the Central Bank of Ireland is the body responsible for the authorisation and supervision of retail credit firms and home reversion firms.

A retail credit firm is a firm that carries out a “relevant activity” as defined in the Central Bank Act 1997 (as amended) by providing credit to relevant persons or entering into consumer-hire or hire-purchase agreements with relevant persons.

A home reversion scheme is where a consumer agrees to sell a share of their home in return for a set price. The consumer does not borrow against the value of their home but instead sells a share of their home. The home reversion company will receive the relevant share of the sale of the home when the consumer moves out of their home or dies.

A list of home reversion and/or retail credit firms currently authorised in Ireland can be accessed via the Registers section of the website.

Transitional Provisions 2022

The Central Bank Act 1997 (as amended) (the Act) has been amended by the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2022 (the 2022 Act), effective 16 May 2022. The 2022 Act has amended the definition of a Retail Credit Firm in the Act, and means that the activities of a Retail Credit Firm now include other forms of credit such as entering into a consumer-hire agreement or hire-purchase agreement, and other forms of indirect credit such as Buy Now Pay Later.

Firms that have been engaging in activities which now fall within the scope of “relevant activity” under section 28 of the Act may avail of transitional arrangements where a completed Application for Authorisation as a Retail Credit Firm and a completed Declaration Form for availing of Transitional Arrangements as a Retail Credit Firm are submitted to the Central Bank no later than 16 August 2022. Firms that make the required submissions of these documents may avail of transitional arrangements whereby they may continue to provide those activities until their application is decided upon. The documents to be submitted are available on the Retail Credit Firm ‘Authorisation Process’ page.

All application submissions to avail of transitional arrangements under the 2022 Act should be submitted via RCF@centralbank.ie.