OFT acts against debt management businesses
Posted by: Robert Cotton | Last Updated: 11.10.2011
The OFT has taken action against a further three debt management businesses as part of its ongoing enforcement work in the sector.
The OFT has acted to stop London-based Money Advice Direct Limited (MADL) using its existing trading name, 'The UK Insolvency Helpline' and the proposed domain names that include the word 'helpline' because the names fail to make clear to consumers the commercial nature of the business.
The OFT has revoked the licence of Prime Legal and Financial Services (PLFS) of Mile End, London for failing, amongst other matters, to demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge or experience to hold a consumer credit licence. Midlothian-based Deric Hamilton Oliver's application for a licence was rejected partly because he gave the OFT false information.
Since the OFT's compliance review a year ago, 61 businesses have had their licence revoked, or have surrendered their licence, or had an application refused. The enforcement action against these three companies is the most recent.
David Fisher, the OFT's Director of Consumer Credit, said:
"We expect commercial debt management businesses to meet the standards that we set out in our guidance. If they do not, we will take action as we have demonstrated here.
"Revised debt management guidance, which is due to be published before the end of the year, will give even greater clarity as to the standards that the OFT expects of businesses that it licenses in this sector."
Source: Office of Fair Trading