The Financial Conduct Authority sent out a stark message to the consumer credit market on Friday that the sector has to improve its practices and raise standards.

Speaking at the FCA’s inaugural annual meeting in London, chief executive Martin Wheatley said that the sector had to improve standards.

“We want to see continual improvement in standards not just in lending companies but in credit brokers, in debt management, in many many aspects,” stated Wheatley.

On the 1st April 2014 responsibility for the regulation of the consumer credit market passed from the Office of Fair Trading to the FCA. Since then payday loans has been the main focus of the FCA’s stronger enforcement powers with restrictions over the lenders rolling over loans and the cost of credit.

However Wheatley sent out the message that payday lending wasn’t the FCA’s only focus and that they would be looking at all areas of consumer finance in order to clean up the market.

“There is a broad question on how much further we need to extend the attentive approach to payday lenders, which, remember in terms of the consumer credit market constitutes roughly 1 to 2% of the total market. “, “So whilst payday is high profile, the consumer credit market is very large and extends to many aspects of consumers experience of purchasing on credit and they are areas which we will be turning our attention to over the coming year.”

Further evidence that embracing the regulators rules and principles is the only way forward for businesses wishing to operate in the sector and more reasons for consumers to only deal with businesses that have and continue to meet the regulators standards.