No to Yes21-Mar-12
The OFT has again shown its’ commitment to acting decisively to ‘tackle businesses that fail to treat people properly’ this week.
Regardless of whether a breach has been caused intentionally or through unclear communication, and even when businesses implement changes to their business practices as a result of investigations and discussions with the OFT, a penalty may still be invoked.
In the case of Yes Loans Limited, recent business changes have been insufficient to prevent the OFT from now revoking their Consumer Credit Licence, subject to appeal, along with two associated businesses: Blue Sky Personal Finance Limited and Money Worries Limited.
Yes are one of the UK’s largest personal loan brokers, offering clients ‘suitable loans’ on a no fee basis sourced from a panel of lenders of various loan types, the majority of which are either payday or guarantor loans.
Their website shows a representative APR of 3359%, which smacks of pre-Consumer Credit Act days.
It also indicates that clients will tend to be from the most vulnerable and financially depressed sections of the population and who are particularly on the OFT’s radar in these challenging economic times. A number of other businesses in the same arena who have, or will soon, cease credit brokerage include No Worries Loans Limited and 141 Loans Limited, with a number of others who currently advertise on TV being rather concerned.
This is good news for consumer rights and protection and also gives out a strong message to the financial markets.
While Yes’s problems were primarily related to sales practices, failing to issue refunds in a timely manner was also identified as ‘poor treatment’ of its’ customers.
That poor treatment rating provides a cautionary shot across the bows to businesses to ensure that their processes and procedures are robust and that they really ‘get it’ that treating customers fairly is a fundamental business practice which must be interpreted, translated and delivered across all businesses processes to ensure compliance - or else!