The last few weeks have proved yet again that fairness is missing in consumer finance, There is a need for real change. In the loans space – Fairmoney clearly fulfills the role.
In Saturday’s Times there were a series of articles on Amigo loans, which accused the company of a range of practices which clearly fall short of treating customers fairly. it is important as Amigo have an estimated 90% market share of the £640 million guarantor loan market.
Also in Saturday’s Times was the story of a plastic surgery company whose TV adverts run during Love Island on the ITV Hub encouraging people with a poor credit rating to take out loans for cosmetic breat surgery.
MYA, which has a dozen clinics, offers loans with a 9.9 per cent interest rate through third-party lenders for surgery costing up to £10,000. It also tells customers with a history of bad debt or failed payments that a parent or partner could take out a loan for them.
The head of the NHS has criticised the company, which is based in Harrogate, for advertising breast augmentation services online around the ITV show which is popular with youngsters.
Failure to disclose
On the 26th June, Judge Pearson at Manchester County Court found for a couple who borrowed £30,000 and were also charged £10,500 for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), which included nearly £8,000 of commission and , this time, the court ruled that they did not have to repay any of the PPI premium as it was excessive and key information was not disclosed to the borrowers.
Price Comparison – not delivering what it says on the tin
On 28th June, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) issued yet another damning report on the Price Comparison Website (PCW) industry, this time for hotels. It criticised the rankings, which in cases were based on how much commission was paid and not the best price to customers, pressure selling, discount claims and my favourite, hidden charges.
If a price comparison website fails to rank its offerings objectively on a total cost basis, how can it possibly be treating customers fairly?
These are not isolated cases, just the very latest ones I a long, long line of sad examples. You could randomly pick another month and there would be similar stories on loans, pensions and price comparison.
Fairmoney.com is a breath of fresh air in the loans PCW space; it has a large, broad panel of top lenders, its rankings are based on the total charge to customers including all fees and charges and not just a headline interest rate, and it uses extensive rules to match customers’ credit profiles against the lenders’ underwriting standards to only generate lending offers where the customer likely qualifies.
The author is a Senior Adviser at the Campaign for Fair Finance™ and the Director for Risk and Lender Compliance at Fairmoney Comparison Limited.