The payday loan provider Yes Loans has had its licence revoked. The trading watchdog (the Office of Fair Trading) said that this was because of “deceitful and oppressive business practices”.
Yes Loans arranged short term loans for UK customers and have been found to mislead them into thinking it was a loan provider rather than a broker. The company was also found to have used high pressure sales tactics to convince customers to give their credit or debit card details under the understanding that they were needed for security checks.
The payday loan company was also found to be taking brokerage fees without making it clear that this charge was payable or even existed and sometimes took this payment without consent.
After the investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, Yes Loans did make some changes to its practices including no longer charging upfront fees. However this was deemed not enough by the watchdog who said: “the evidence of prolonged engagement in deceitful and oppressive business practices, and the continuing presence of some of the staff responsible for running the businesses, makes them unfit to hold a consumer credit licence”.
David Fisher, director of consumer credit at the OFT, said: “We will take decisive action to tackle businesses that fail to treat people properly, especially the most vulnerable.
Two other associated businesses Money Worries Limited and Blue Sky Personal Finance have also been deemed unfit to hold a consumer credit licence. All three companies issues a joint statement saying that they were “very disappointed” by the OFT’s decision and are considering what their next step will be. “We have all worked tirelessly to implement significant and fundamental advancements to the businesses. We are disappointed that, despite recognising this, the OFT has decided to revoke the licences of three long-standing businesses, which provide a loans brokerage service and other personal financial services to many thousands of satisfied customers. We are currently taking advice with regard to lodging an appeal against the decision. No jobs are at risk within the companies concerned, regardless of the outcome of any appeal. Currently and throughout any appeals process, our licences remain valid and allow us to continue to trade.”