Payday firm, CFO Lending (£34 million), Ariste Holding Limited (£20 million) and Dollar Financial UK (£15 million) made a deal to pay over about £65 million in redress to its customers. They made an agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide compensation to their borrowers for unfair practices. The regulator expressed that, because of the firm’s negligence a number of serious failings took place which caused detriment for many customers.
CFO Lending traded under several brands including Payday First, Flexible First, Money Resolve, Paycfo, Payday Advance & Payday Credit whereas Dollar Financial UK trading as The Money Shop, Payday UK, Payday Express & Ladder Loans. CFO Lending will pay redress to more than 97,000 customers, Ariste Holding Limited will compensate about 92,000 of their customers and Dollar Financial UK will refund to more than 147,000 customers. In August 2014, an investigation by the FCA found payday firms were treating their customers unfairly. Some of the unfair practices were:
The firm’s systems didn't show the correct loan balances for customers. As a result, some customers ended up repaying more money than they owed.
Misusing customers banking information to take payments without permission.
Applying additional fees for customers who had not repaid after 12 months, even though the required annual statement had not been provided.
Excessive use of continuous payment authorities (CPAs) to collect balances from customers even when the firm suspected that the customer was in financial difficulty.
Failing to treat customers in financial difficulties with due forbearance which includes refusing reasonable repayment plans suggested by customers and their advisers.
Sending threatening and misleading letters, texts and emails to customers.
Routinely reporting inaccurate information about customers to credit reference agencies.
Failing to assess the affordability of guarantor loans for customers.
The firms acknowledged their mistakes and part of addressing these mistakes is making things right for their customers with a redress programme. The customers of the firms don't need to take any action as the firm will contact all affected their customers. Since the FCA has taken over the regulation of payday lenders, many payday loan providers have stopped offering loans and withdrawn from the market.