On 3 March 2021, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) printed two units of statistics.
- quarterly data for October-December 2020 summarises the forms of complaints FOS has won.
- half-year data displays which corporations had essentially the most complaints in July-December 2020 and the way incessantly FOS upheld the purchasers’ circumstances.
Caroline Wayman, the FOS CEO says:
“Excluding PPI, new complaints are up by over 55% compared to the same period last year, with more and more people asking for our help to resolve problems with financial businesses.”
The information displays massive jumps in complaints about low credit lending. FOS says that the majority of those complaints have been about affordability. FOS has described its normal technique to affordability complaints here.
Quarterly stats – extra complaints about guarantor loans than PPI!
For the primary time since 2007, PPI used to be now not the product with essentially the most complaints on the Ombudsman.
In the closing quarter of 2020, two forms of low credit loans have taken excessive spot:
- over 10,000 new complaints about guarantor loans;
- over 6,000 complaints about house credit score, often referred to as doorstep lending.
The trade isn’t simply because PPI complaints have dropped away, that used to be anticipated. But a yr in the past within the closing quarter of 2019, there have been handiest 300 complaints about guarantor loans and simply over 400 complaints about house credit score.
So the complaints about all these high-cost lending have rocketed.
Amigo & Provident – the most important numbers of recent circumstances
The two corporations in the second one 1/2 of 2020 with essentially the most new FOS circumstances have been:
- Amigo, with just about 13,000 new circumstances on this length, a mean of greater than 2,000 complaints a month;
- Provident Consumer Credit, with over 10,000 new circumstances within the length.
The new FOS statistics display that FOS has agreed with the buyer in an enormous 88% of Amigo circumstances in the second one 1/2 of 2020 – unchanged from the primary 1/2 of 2020. And the uphold price for Provident is just about as excessive at 75%.
This means that each Amigo and Provident had been rejecting or making deficient gives to numerous their shoppers’ complaints. Debt Camel readers’ feedback again this up – listed below are a couple of feedback about Provident within the closing two weeks:
- “Had about 30 loans over time, with £23000 passion. Provident stated they have been all reasonably priced“.
- “I have just received a letter back from Provident rejecting all 13 loans. The loans dated from 2007 – 2015.” These loans had began at £500 and completed at £2500.
- “11 loans from 2012-2016….. various quantities from £200 too £2000. Provident say they have been all reasonably priced however for those who take a look at the dates everytime one used to be paid up it used to be as a result of I had taken any other mortgage.“
Other low credit lenders – circumstances most commonly up
FOS statistics give the lenders’ company identify – however right here I’ll use the extra acquainted emblem names.
Amigo dominates the guarantor marketplace however the half-year FOS statistics display different guarantor lenders also are seeing many extra complaints, together with George Banco, UK Credit and Trust Two.
Similarly for doorstep lending – it’s now not simply Provident. Morses and Loans at Home have had much more FOS circumstances.
Lenders providing massive low credit loans akin to 118 Money, Everyday Loans, Likely Loans, Loans2Go and Bamboo have additionally observed massive will increase of their FOS circumstances.
In distinction, some payday lenders have observed drops in FOS complaints. Lending Stream’s circumstances fell to about 2,500 within the closing 1/2 of 2020, from just about 4,000 within the first 1/2 of the yr. Other payday lenders akin to Safetynet Credit have observed their grievance numbers unchanged.
Car finance lenders have observed many new complaints. The top lender Volkswagen’s complaints doubled from the primary 1/2 of 2020 to the second one 1/2. Moneybarn, a low credit lender, had its complaints greater than treble. Some of those complaints might be about affordability however there are lots of different the explanation why shoppers bitch about automotive finance, because the FOS case studies display.
Also expanding are complaints about catalogue and sub top bank cards akin to Shop Direct and New Day, however now not these types of might be affordability complaints.
Amigo can’t have the funds for to pay the refunds in complete
Amigo has already stated it might probably’t have the funds for to stay paying complete refunds on all of the complaints it’s getting so it is looking for coverage in a Scheme of Arrangement. By the time the following FOS 1/2 yr information comes out, Amigo will more than likely both be in a Scheme or in management.
It is difficult to wager if Provident may also be in monetary issue. Its dad or mum, Provident Financial Group, owns the very successful Vanquis bank card. If it chooses, PFG may elevate on paying out complete refunds to its doorstep lending shoppers who got unaffordable loans till the numbers drop off – the autumn in Lending Stream circumstances displays this can also be executed. But if the Amigo Scheme is permitted to continue, may PFG wish to cap its liabilities and pay handiest small quantities out on affordability complaints?
Some smaller lenders would possibly doubtlessly even be in issue. Their grievance numbers would possibly handiest be within the loads, however that can be so much for corporations with a smaller capital base. And they’ll neatly now not be capable to have the funds for the very excessive up-front prices of putting in a Scheme of Arrangement.
The Amigo Scheme gifts the FCA with a large downside on account of the anti-competitive implications. To permit a significant low credit lender to hold on in industry however evade paying complete repayment to its shoppers would make lifestyles a lot more difficult for the opposite low credit lenders who’re nonetheless paying complete refunds.