BrightHouse to cough up £14.8m in compensation
BrightHouse, which provides household goods to customers on hire purchase agreements, is being made to cough up £14.8m to 249,000 customers by the Financial Conduct Authority for failing to act as a responsible lender.
The FCA, which has been working closely with BrightHouse since 2014, said the company’s lending application affordability assessment processes and collections processes did not always deliver good outcomes for customers, particularly those who were at a higher risk of falling into financial difficulty.
BrightHouse will compensate customers who had cancelled agreements after one downpayment but not been refunded and those who signed up to lending agreements that may not have been affordable.
The FCA said BrightHouse will write to all affected customers, some of whom are affected by both sets of circumstances, to explain the refund or balance adjustment that they will receive.
Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision for Retail and Authorisations at the FCA, said: “During the time in question, BrightHouse was not a responsible lender and failed to meet our expectations of firms in this sector. I am pleased that it has agreed to provide redress to those customers affected by these historic practices.
“This scheme continues our work with the rent-to-own sector to resolve the concerns we have previously identified.
“Responsible lending and the fair treatment of consumers, especially those in financial difficulties or who are vulnerable, are key priorities for us.”