Authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland is now required in relation to a broader scope of credit which also includes hire-purchase and consumer-hire business.
A new cap of 23% APR has been imposed on consumer credit agreements and consumer hire-purchase agreements. The authorisation requirements apply in relation to a regulated business, which includes the business of a retail credit firm or the business of a credit servicing firm.
Under the new Act, the definition of “credit servicing”, has been expanded to require an authorisation where a firm engages in the following activities in respect of consumer-hire and hire-purchase agreements:
In addition, the 2022 Act amends the 1995 Act such that it applies to a person who has invited, by way of advertisement, consumers to avail of credit without payment of interest or any other charge.
The interim period of the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 has been further extended to 31 December 2022 following Government approval. The Act makes temporary amendments to the Companies Act 2014 and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 to address issues arising as a result of Covid-19.
The Act makes provision in respect of business solvency by increasing the period of examinership to 150 days and increasing the threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts to €50,000.
The Act also extends the provisions allowing 240,000 companies and 950 industrial and provident societies in Ireland to hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and general meetings by electronic means. The continuation of these important amendments will provide additional breathing space to struggling businesses and provide continuity for businesses to the end of this year.