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FCA bans payday lender and director for “lacking integrity” 13 October 2016

A payday lender has been refused interim permission and had its director banned.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Andrew Hart, the director, controller and owner, of Wage Payment and Payday Loans (WPPL).

The consumer credit firm offered payday loans under the trading names of Payday Overdraft, Wagepayday and Doshloans.

Hart has been banned from performing any role in regulated financial services because the FCA said he is not a “fit and proper person due to his lack of integrity and competence”.

The FCA found Hart to have taken a reckless approach to managing the affairs of WPPL, failing to address its “unfair and improper practices”.

Hart also failed to implement policies and procedures relating to forbearance, creditworthiness and affordability.

The firm’s interim permission has been cancelled because it failed to satisfy the threshold conditions regarding appropriate resources and suitability.

WPPL is found to have had misleading and unfair communications with its customers. The FCA said Hart had also communicated with customers in an aggressive and improper manner.

Investigators found that the firm regularly threatened to take legal action against customers whose loans accounts were in arrears.

One customer had been told by WPPL that it had obtained County Court Judgements (CCJs) against them and the alleged legal proceeding costs would be added to their account.

WPPL has also been refused its applications to be authorised.

Mark Steward, FCA director of enforcement and market oversight, said: “We will continue to use our powers to protect consumers and tackle firms who cross the line and senior managers whose failures have caused or contributed to the firm’s failures.”

This is the first prohibition of a senior manager, for a lack of compliance with regulatory requirements in the consumer credit sector, since the FCA took over regulation of consumer credit in April 2014.

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