Criteria for personal loans

Core criteria of the fair trading mark

1) The product or service must be fairly traded and honestly priced:

a. The provider must follow the spirit of the FCA’s rules and principles with an emphasis on treating customers fairly.

b. Material profit must be made only from positive aspects of the customer journey.  Any extra fees or charges must be designed only to cover additional costs and not to generate material profits. 

PANA criteria and clarifications

2) Communications and charging structures must be clear, fair and not misleading; with material benefits other than costs and charges being declared to the customer.

3) The product must not discriminate against new or existing customers, although separate incentives can be offered by the company to new or loyal customers.

4) Where applicable non-FCA-regulated products must be treated in the same way as FCA regulated ones.

5) The product must not charge termination fees if exited normally.

6) If the interest rate charged exceeds 3% per month:

a) The group must be validated by a FairLife Agent to confirm that the interest rate charged is justified by the firm’s business model.

b) Customers must be able to repay the entire loan early without facing a financial penalty in excess of reasonable costs.

7) Customers must be able to overpay their loan without charge by 10% per year.

8) The provider must be fair to holders of underperforming debt.

a. The provider must inform customers that they can get free debt advice.

b. The provider must add nothing by way of fees and costs to customers’ restructured debt.

9) The provider must be fair to customers facing debt recovery.

1. The provider must have tried to agree an affordable repayment plan with the customer by seeking to contact them on numerous occasions and via different channels.

2. The provider must follow the criteria of FairLife’s Debt Recovery Mark (below):

a. Inform the customer that they can get free debt advice.

b. Add nothing by way of interest, fees and costs to customers’ in debt recovery (with the exception of court fees and costs).

c. Where applicable, treat non-FCA-regulated debt in the same manner as FCA regulated debt.

d. Include these instructions as part of the transaction if the debt is sold or passed on (unless passed to a FairLife debt recovery firm).


Criteria 9d can be achieved easily by passing the debt to a FairLife debt recovery firm. 



To download a summary of the mark click here

To download a licence for the mark click here