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Payday lender collapses after £20m refund programme 6 January 2016

Payday lender Cash Genie has entered liquidation, just months after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) forced the company to pay £20m in redress to more than 92,000 customers.

Liquidators RSM are now seeking former customers who may be entitled to a payout as a result of the company’s practices.

In 2014 Cash Genie voluntarily notified the FCA that it had engaged in unfair practices and agreed to an independent review of its past business.

The FCA found that Cash Genie had failed to treat customers fairly in a number of ways, including charging customers just for referring them to its sister debt collection agency, Twyford Developments Ltd. Loans were also rolled over or refinanced without customers’ explicit request or consent and without undertaking appropriate checks or assessments of customers’ situations.

Prior to engaging with the FCA, the company wrote off more than £10.3m in charges and interest.

Whilst 76 percent of the £20m redress package has already been paid out to customers, around £1.5m of funds remain unclaimed.

As Cash Genie and its sister company Twyford Developments Ltd (which traded as Carter Forbes) have now gone into liquidation, the official liquidators from RSM are working to trace the remaining customers who have not yet come forward for their redress payments.

Steven Law, partner at RSM and one of the liquidators said: “In this case Cash Genie has voluntarily entered into a solvent liquidation, meaning there is enough capital left in the business to redress all affected customers.

“We have been working closely with Cash Genie and its sister company and are keen to find and pay those remaining customers.”

The redress package agreed with the FCA consisted of a combination of cash refunds and balance write-downs. Cash Genie agreed to:
• Write off or refund fees and charges which should not have been added to customer accounts;
• Write off or refund rollover interest where the firm rolled over customers’ loans inappropriately;
• Refund payments taken without authorisation. In addition, the firm agreed to write off all outstanding balances on accounts affected by this practice; and
• Write off or refund interest and fees added to customers’ accounts after the point at which the firm should have provided customers with an annual statement.

By Marcel LeGouais

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