The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that BrightHouse “was not a responsible lender” in many cases from April 2010, and the FCA has been “working with” BrightHouse since 2014 to address the issues.
In 2016 a BBC investigation conducted by Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, highlighted the example of a £358 washing machine that ended up costing more than £1,000.
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 have 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.
– JONATHAN DAVIDSON, FCA
Am I due a refund?
As a result, BrightHouse will be making repayments to the following customers:
- Customers who took out an agreement with BrightHouse between April 2010 and April 2017 and then either cancelled the agreement within the 14 day cooling off period, or did not take delivery of the goods, and did not receive a refund of any payments made. In these cases, we will refund all payments made under the agreement.
- Customers who took out an agreement between April 2014 and September 2016 and where we have identified that our checks may not have effectively ensured that customers could afford the repayments. Where customers returned the product to BrightHouse, we will refund the interest and any fees paid under the agreement.
Do I need to do anything?
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. Customers do not need to take any action until they are contacted by BrightHouse.
BrightHouse said on its website: “We are sorry this has happened. We will contact all customers included in the programme by personal letter before the end of the year.”
More information on BBC.co.uk