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common complaints and case studies

Jon

 

they've taken fees from my bank account - but I haven't got a loan...

We hear from people who’ve applied for a loan - and been charged one or more fees - but haven’t actually received a loan.

  • We often find people have put their details into a credit broking website, thinking they were applying directly to a lender. Some people say they were told their bank or card details were needed for security checks - and that a fee would only be taken when a loan was provided.
  • We’ll check what information the credit broker gave on their website - for example, whether it was clear that they’d only be finding a loan, rather than providing one. And we’ll also look at whether the credit broker made it clear that they’d charge a fee - even if they didn’t manage to find someone a loan - as well as how much it was and when they’d charge it
  • We’ve found that credit brokers sometimes pass on people’s details to other credit brokers - who might also charges fees without providing a loan. We’ll check whether the credit broker explained that this could happen.
  • If we decide that a broker hasn’t been clear about their fees - or the way they might use people’s details - we’ll usually tell them to refund any fees, with interest. We’ll also tell them to refund any charges and expenses someone’s run up as a result of the fees being taken - and consider whether they should pay compensation for any trouble and upset they’ve caused.

case study 1

When Mr O needed a loan, he applied through a credit-broking website. When he hadn’t heard anything after three days, he checked his bank account - and found £79 had been taken out.

Mr O hadn’t received a loan - and the broker said £79 was their standard fee. But they didn’t have any evidence that Mr O had agreed to pay it. Mr O had queried the charge as soon as he’d noticed it, so we thought it was most likely he hadn’t been aware of the charge - and we told the credit broker to refund the money.

Julie

 

I decided not to take out a loan through the broker - but they still charged a fee ...

Some people apply for a loan through a broker, but eventually decide not to take one out. We hear from people who think it’s unfair that the broker has still charged a fee.

  • We’ll need to establish when someone applied to the broker. Under consumer credit law, people are entitled to a refund of a broker’s fee if they haven’t taken out a loan found by the broker within six months.
  • We’ll look into the information the broker gave about their fees - and the details of the loans they offered. The law allows the broker to keep £5 of any fee - but only if someone authorised the fee in the first place, and they did sufficient work to justify keeping the fee (finding suitable loans for example). They can’t keep the fee if they can’t show what work they’ve done.
  • We’ll check that the broker quickly refunded the fee when their customer contacted them to say they didn’t want a loan. Under the rules, the broker can’t refuse to refund the fee - or wait six months to refund it.
  • If we find that the broker has refused to refund the fee - or shouldn’t have taken it at all - we’ll tell them to refund it, with interest. We’ll also tell them to refund any charges or other expenses they’ve caused - as well as compensation for any trouble and upset their customer has experienced.
Jon

 

none of the loans the broker found were right for me, but they've still charged me a fee ...

Some people tell us they gave the broker specific details about the sort of loan they wanted - but are unhappy with the loans the broker found.

  • We’ll look into what someone told the broker about the loan they wanted. If we find someone specifically told the broker that they didn’t want a particular type of loan - for example, a payday, guarantor or logbook loan - then we’d say it’s unfair for the broker to charge a fee for finding this type of loan.
  • If a broker finds a suitable loan, they’re entitled to keep £5 of any fee - under consumer credit law. So if we decide the broker hasn’t found suitable loans, we’ll check that they’ve refunded the whole fee.
  • If we decide that the broker shouldn’t have taken any fee, we’ll tell them to refund it, with interest. We’ll also tell them to refund any charges or other expenses they’ve caused - as well as compensation for any trouble and upset their customer has experienced.

need help?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here - or you’d like to talk to someone - give us a call ...

consumer helpline - 0800 023 4567
our technical advice desk (for businesses and consumer advisers) - 020 7964 1400

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