Store cus­tomers to get a £14m pay­out

Rochdale Observer - - CHILD SEX ABUSE INQUIRY - News­desk@men-news.co.uk @MENnews­desk

BRIGHTHOUSE is to pay out £14.8m in com­pen­sa­tion af­ter a fi­nan­cial watch­dog ruled the com­pany had treated its cus­tomers un­fairly.

The weekly-pay­ment firm, which has more than a dozen stores across Greater Manch­ester in­clud­ing in the Wheat­sheaf Shop­ping cen­tre in Rochdale, had agreed to pay 249,000 cus­tomers for un­af­ford­able lend­ing and pay­ments which should have been re­funded.

The Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Author­ity (FCA) said BrightHouse had failed to be a ‘re­spon­si­ble lender’, and had not al­ways de­liv­ered good out­comes for cus­tomers – par­tic­u­larly those at higher risk of fall­ing into fi­nan­cial dif­fi­culty.

The pay­ments re­lated to 384,000 agree­ments which be­gan be­tween April 2010 and Septem­ber 2016.

Jonathan Davidson, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of su­per­vi­sion – re­tail and au­tho­ri­sa­tions at the FCA said: “Dur­ing the time in ques­tion, BrightHouse was not a re­spon­si­ble lender and failed to meet our ex­pec­ta­tions of firms in this sec­tor.

“I am pleased it has agreed to pro­vide re­dress to those cus­tomers af­fected by th­ese his­toric prac­tices.

“This scheme con­tin­ues our work with the rent-toown sec­tor to re­solve the con­cerns we have pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied.

“Re­spon­si­ble lend­ing and the fair treat­ment of con­sumers, es­pe­cially those in fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties or who are vul­ner­a­ble, are key pri­or­i­ties for us.”

Cus­tomers won’t need to take any ac­tion as BrightHouse – a trad­ing name of Caver­sham Fi­nance Lim­ited – will con­tact all those af­fected and no­tify them if they are due a re­fund.

The firm will pay out to:

Cus­tomers whose cir­cum­stances have not been as­sessed prop­erly at the be­gin­ning of the loan to de­ter­mine whether they could af­ford it and may have had dif­fi­culty mak­ing pay­ments.

Cus­tomers who handed back the goods will be paid back the in­ter­est and fees charged un­der the agree­ment, plus com­pen­satory in­ter­est of eight per cent.

Cus­tomers who re­tained the goods will have their bal­ances writ­ten off. This re­dress to­tals around £10.1m for 114,000 agree­ments en­tered into be­tween 1 April 2014 and 30 Septem­ber 2016, cov­er­ing 81,000 cus­tomers.

Cus­tomers who made the first pay­ment due un­der an agree­ment with the firm which was can­celled prior to the de­liv­ery of the goods. This first pay­ment was not re­turned to all cus­tomers. BrightHouse will re­fund this first pay­ment plus pay com­pen­satory in­ter­est of eight per cent. This re­dress to­tals around £4.7m for 270,000 agree­ments en­tered into af­ter 1 April 2010 cov­er­ing 181,000 cus­tomers.

BrightHouse has an out­let in­side the Wheat­sheaf shop­ping cen­tre in Rochdale

The Fall play­ing at the Deeply Vale fes­ti­val

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