Understanding your financial agreements


If you buy any financial services, such as a loan, the company that sold you the service must be authorised by the FSA (Financial Service Authority). You can check the status of a financial services business you want to use on the FSA website.

All finance products will need a financial agreement that binds both you and the company that is selling you the product. Most of the financial agreements you will enter into will be for consumer credit such as hire-purchase agreements. The Consumer Credit Act governs how these products can be sold and also states what your rights are under the Act.

The Consumer Credit Act itself is enforced by the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). It is the OFT’s job to protect the rights of consumers when they enter into financial agreements. You should of course ensure you fully understand the commitment you are making before you sign any financial agreement. If you are in any doubt about an aspect of the financial agreement you are about to sign, take advice before you do so.

If after signing your financial agreement you later discover that the product was not what you thought, and you feel that the company that sold you the product did not fully explain the product to you, a complaint can be made. These financial agreement complaints are handled in the first instance by the FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) or the Pensions Ombudsman if you have taken advice, or purchased a pension product.

After the FOS has considered your case, and if they found that the company that sold you the financial product was not at fault, you could take the company concerned to court. In these cases it is important to have fully qualified legal representation. As finance law is complex, your solicitor can not only interpret the law for you, they can also help you to build a strong case that will deliver a positive outcome. Never try and bring this type of case to court alone. The court will want to see that all parties have proper legal representation.

If you would like to obtain legal advice about financial agreements, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist financial contracts solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local financial contracts solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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