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OFT takes action against debt management firms 10 October 2011

London-based Money Advice Direct has been told it can no longer trade under the name ‘The UK Insolvency Helpline’ or use domains that include the word ‘helpline’ in the name because the commercial nature of the business is not clear.

In two separate cases, the OFT revoked the licence of Prime Legal & Financial Services of Mile End, London for failing to adequately demonstrate the knowledge, experience or necessary skills required to hold a consumer credit licence.

Elsewhere, Deric Hamilton Oliver of Midlothian, Scotland, has had his application for a licence rejected after lying on this OFT application.

David Fisher, director of consumer credit at the OFT, said he expects debt management businesses to meet the standards set out in its published guidance.

He explained: “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.”

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.

By Joe McGrath



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