Frequently Asked Questions for Moneylenders 

What is a moneylender?

A moneylender is defined as a person who carries on the business of moneylending or who advertises or announces himself or holds himself out in any way as carrying on that business, but does not include:

  • Any pawnbroker in respect of business carried on by him in accordance with the provisions of the Pawnbrokers Act, 1964 (as amended by Part XV)
  • A society which is registered as a credit union under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978, by virtue of the Credit Union Act, 1966
  • A registered society within the meaning of the Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1977
  • A credit institution
  • A person who supplies money for the purchase, sale or hire of goods at an APR which is less than 23 per cent. (or such other rate as may be prescribed)
  • A mortgage lender

A “moneylending agreement” is defined in the Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (as amended) as ‘a credit agreement into which a moneylender enters or offers to enter, with a consumer in which one or more of the following apply:

  1. The agreement was concluded away from the business premises of the moneylender or the business premises of the supplier of goods or services under the agreement;
  2. Any negotiations for, or in relation to the credit were conducted at a place other than the business premises of the moneylender or the business premises of the supplier of goods or services under the agreement;
  3. Repayments under the agreement will, or may, be paid by the consumer to the moneylender or his representative at any place other than the business premises of the moneylender or the business premises of the supplier of goods or services under the agreement; or
  4. Where the total cost of credit to the consumer under the agreement is in excess of an APR of 23 per cent., or such other rate as may be prescribed.

“Credit” includes a deferred payment, cash loan [or other similar financial accommodation].

How do I become a licensed moneylender?

The appropriate moneylending application form (new or renewal) must be completed and returned to the Central Bank of Ireland with the required items. See the Authorisation Process for Moneylenders.

Can I collect on Moneylending Agreements?

A person or firm collecting repayments on Moneylending Agreements on its own behalf or on behalf of another person or firm must hold a moneylender’s licence and/or hold the appropriate authorisation from the other firm as prescribed by Section 97 of the Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (as amended).

How long will the licence last for?

A moneylending licence is granted for a period of one year.  Prior to the expiry of the licence, the Central Bank of Ireland will issue a renewal pack to licensed moneylenders for completion.

What District Court Districts can I operate in?

Each application for a moneylender’s licence must state the District Court Districts in which the applicant intends to engage in the business of moneylending.

The firm must advertise its intention to apply for a moneylender's licence in a newspaper that covers the District Court Districts in which it proposes to operate. If the firm proposes to offer services in all District Court Districts this advertisement must be published in a newspaper that circulates nationally.

Who needs prior approval from the Central Bank before becoming a director/principal of a firm?
A list of pre-approval controlled functions can be found here.

What is a Themed (consumer) Inspection?

Themed inspections are one of the tools which we use to monitor compliance with legislation and requirements, such as the Consumer Protection Code for Licensed Moneylenders (until 1 January 2021), the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended), the European Communities (Consumer Credit Agreements) Regulations 2010 and the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (Section 48) (Licensed Moneylenders) Regulations 2020 (after 1 January 2021). A themed inspection focuses on a specific topic or product rather than on a specific financial services provider.

These inspections are carried out on a number of regulated entities for which the topic would be applicable or those that represent a significant portion of the market share of the relevant product.

Themes are identified from a number of sources including, but not restricted to, consumer complaints and queries, issues arising from previous inspections and market intelligence.

Themed inspections can be conducted by survey or by a combination of a survey and on-site inspections.

In certain cases, particular information relevant to the theme is requested and examined and following examination of this material, firms may be selected for on-site inspection. Firms that are selected for on-site inspection will be requested to have certain information available for examination at the outset of the inspection.

Feedback from themed inspections is provided to the relevant sector(s) of the Industry formally and the findings from these themes are brought into the public domain through publication on our website. Our overall aim is to improve the level of compliance of firms with the relevant requirements and to ensure that financial service providers are acting at all times in the best interests of consumers.

Where a specific compliance issue arises with an individual firm, this is addressed directly with the firm and where appropriate, regulatory action may be taken.

While we select particular themes as part of our monitoring of compliance with the relevant requirements, we expect firms to proactively monitor consumer protection issues in their own firms and to take any appropriate corrective action that may be required.

This themed approach does not preclude us from focusing resources on a particular financial service provider if required.