CFO Lending LTD Customer Redress Programme
CFO Lending Ltd agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that it would provide redress to customers who were affected by past unfair practices. As a consequence affected customers would either have the amount they owe to CFO Lending Ltd reduced or written off. Alternatively and where appropriate receive a direct payment where their account is settled and they have been affected by historical conduct resulting in a poor outcome.
The redress scheme has been overseen by an independent body, known as a Skilled Person, whose appointment was agreed by the FCA.
Unfair business practices
We have identified all customers who have been affected by past unfair practices and this has been verified by an independent third party and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The issues CFO identified were:
(1) Balance restatement
Due to historic issues concerning its IT systems, CFO identified that the accuracy of some customer balances could not be relied upon. CFO lending has since identified and corrected all of the issues associated with its IT systems and corrected all customer balances.
(2) Misuse of banking information
CFO historically acquired card details from existing customers who had an outstanding balance in a misleading way. The card details were then used to collect overdue payments from customers’ accounts without providing a full explanation of how the card details would be used.
(3) Excessive use of continuous payment authority (CPA)
During its collections activity CFO utilised CPA as a method of payment. It used CPA in an excessive way contrary to OFT guidelines and at times when it may reasonably have believed that the customer was in financial difficulty.
(4) Mishandling of complaints
CFO complaints procedures fell below the standards expected of a regulated business. On occasion CFO failed to deal appropriately with complaints, vulnerable customers and customers who alleged that they had been a victim of fraud. CFO failed to treat customers in financial difficulties with due forbearance, including refusing repayment plans suggested by customers and their advisers.
(5) Misleading and threatening communications
During its collections activities some of CFOs communications was considered to be inappropriate for a regulated business. For example the content may have been perceived to be misleading or threatening.
(6) Inaccurate reporting to credit reference agencies
Historically, CFOs systems and controls for reporting information to credit reference agencies were inadequate. From time to time CFO failed to report accurate information about customers and their balances. This included overstating the outstanding balance, reporting a cleared balance as outstanding and in some cases registering a default inappropriately.
(7) Interest rates on rollovers
CFO charged incorrect interest rates where customers exercised a rollover request. It did so by charging its prevailing market rate rather than the rate of interest detailed within the customers original consumer credit agreement. Whilst the majority of customers affected by this treatment benefited as the prevailing interest rate was lower than that in the original consumer credit agreement, some customers were over-charged.
(8) Annual statements not produced after 13 months
The Consumer Credit Act (1974) required a lender to provide a borrower with information before, during and after the point of sale. One of those requirements is the provision of an annual statement. CFO failed to supply annual statements to its borrowers according to the Act. Therefore any interest and charges accrued after the statement date are deemed to be unenforceable.
What does this mean for customers?
We are committed to putting things right for any of our customers who have been affected by one or more of these issues, both those who currently have an open account and past customers whose account has now closed.
We have agreed a redress scheme with the FCA. Customers who were affected by any of these issues would either have the amount they owe to CFO Lending reduced or settled or would be entitled to receive a direct payment
CFO Lending LTD will over the next 6 months be making contact with all customer who have been effected by the unfair practices.
How will I know if I am due redress?
We aim to have contacted all affected customers by March 2017, within six months of the commencement of the programme on 1st October 2016. If you believe you are affected by any of the issues and may be entitled to redress and have not heard from us by March 2017 then you should contact us on 0203 583 6303 immediately.
How do I know that the redress is genuine?
Our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has published details of the redress scheme and the appointment of the skilled people on its website at www.fca.org.uk/news/news-stories/cfo-lending-customer-redress-scheme
Do I need to use the services of a Claims Management Company?
You do not need to use the services of a Claims Management Company (CMC), which may charge you an upfront fee or take a proportion of the compensation you receive.
Our approach to assessing the impact on your account and the calculation of the compensation due to you has been agreed with our regulator and has also been independently verified.
What do I do if I still owe CFO lending Ltd Money?
You remain responsible for repaying an outstanding balance on your account. However, no further fees or interest will be added. We encourage you to contact CFO Lending on 0208 045 1382 to discuss an affordable repayment plan based on your current circumstances. If you are struggling with your debts there are free debt advice services which can help you.
What should I do if I have a payment arrangement in place?
If you have an outstanding balance after this redress please continue with the payment plan you have in place until the balance has been fully repaid. If you would like to amend or discuss your payment plan please contact us on 0208 045 1382 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the redress has paid your balance in full then you should cancel any standing orders you have set up and please do not make any further payments to CFO Lending LTD.
What happens to my credit record?
If you owed money to CFO Lending Ltd before this compensation and your account balance has been cleared or reduced, then your credit file will be updated to reflect this.
What is a balance write down?
A balance write-down means that we have adjusted your open account balance to remove any relevant interest or charges in order to put your account back in the position it would have been had these practices not occurred.
The final adjusted balance is how much you now owe CFO Lending Ltd
What if I have a specific question about how this affects my account?
You can contact the CFO Lending Ltd Service team by:
Telephone: 0203 583 6303
Post: 2nd Floor Kirkdale House, Leytonstone, London E11 1HP
IVAs and Bankruptcy
If you are due a direct payment, please contact us to claim the monies owed to you. If you are in a formal insolvency situation, you should be aware that the redress due to you may fall within the terms of your arrangement and you should contact your insolvency practitioner, trustee, the official receiver or trustee in bankruptcy as appropriate to your situation to let them know that you are entitled to redress. If you are an un-discharged bankrupt, we will also notify the official receiver or accountant in Bankruptcy that we have made a redress payment to you.
If I am not happy with the redress, can I complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service?
The amount of redress we have offered in relation to the unfair practices you have been affected by is based on the calculation that we have agreed with the FCA. Please contact us if you think we may have made a mistake in assessing how you were affected by any of the unfair practices or if you wish to complain about another aspect of the redress scheme. A complaint can still be made even if you have already received the redress.
We will consider your complaint and send you a final response. If you do not agree with our response you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Ombudsman. If you want the Ombudsman to consider your complaint, you must send your complaint to them within 6 months of our final response.
The Ombudsman’s contact details are:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
Information regarding the service can be found on the Financial Ombudsman website:
*calls are charged at your local rate and are included in your inclusive mobile minutes