The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has ruled that unsecured credit broker Yes Loans Limited is unfit to hold a consumer credit licence.
It has also decided upon the same fate for two associated businesses, Blue Sky Personal Finance Limited and Money Worries Limited.
The OFt said its decision to revoke the licences was taken in light of evidence that Yes Loans has failed to comply with the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and associated regulations, and with requirements previously imposed by the OFT.
Yes Loans had engaged in unfair business practices, the OFT said, including using high pressure sales tactics to persuade consumers to provide their debit or credit card details on the false premise that they were required for an identity and/or security check.
Yes Loans has also deducted brokerage fees without making it clear that a fee was payable, and/or without the consumer’s consent.
Other failings included misleading consumers into believing it was a loan provider rather than a credit broker.
Following the OFT’s investigation, Yes Loans made a number of changes to how it operates, including no longer charging upfront fees. A number of other associated companies also surrendered or withdrew their consumer credit licences or applications.
Despite these changes, the OFT determined that 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.
Yes Loans has two weeks within which to appeal.
David Fisher, the OFT’s director of consumer credit, said: “We will take decisive action to tackle businesses that fail to treat people properly