In October Inside Timeshare published the news of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) validating loan agreements brokered by Azure Services Ltd on behalf of Barclay Partner Finance, at the time Azure was not authorised to broker the agreements either by BPF or the FCA. This case has affected around 1,444 Azure clients, who essentially now that the validation order has been approved, may be liable to legal action if they default, as the FCA has essentially “legalised” these agreements.
In August 2018, Judge Timothy Herrington of Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Division of the Royal Courts of Justice ruled that the FCA reconsider the validation order as he considered that the FCA did not consider the impact of consumer detriment.
This “consumer detriment” covers the fact that not one “income versus expenditure” report was ever completed to check the affordability and ability of the consumer to keep up the payments. That the terms and conditions, the length of the loan agreement and other factors were also not explained to the consumer. It also transpires that the consumers were also under the impression that the timeshare sales staff were actually employees of BPF.
These are just a few of the factors which Judge Herrington brought up in his ruling, now 2 years on, the FCA has validated these loan agreements, it seems obvious that they have not considered the true impact of “consumer detriment”.
In fact, from very reliable sources Inside Timeshare, the FCA only sent out a questionnaire to 82 clients out of 1,444, this is only around 5% of those affected. This decision is now looking to those clients as being just a “whitewash” with the FCA backing one of the largest financial institutions in the UK.
Although the FCA has ordered BPF to repay all interest on the loan agreements and stop any further interest on the outstanding amount, this has not had the effect of cancelling the loans as “illegal”. It now puts those who are in financial difficulty in a precarious position if they default.
Inside Timeshare is also in contact with several clients who are disgusted with the FCA decision, they are forming a group with the intention of launching an appeal against this decision. Inside Timeshare is asking all those affected by this decision to use our contact page and register your interest in this appeal as soon as possible. Inside Timeshare will pass on your contact details to the group where they will give you more information.
The way timeshare sales have utilised the easy access to loan agreements without the necessary checks has been a regular feature over the years on Inside Timeshare. Below are just a few of the previous articles on this subject.
The first article is about Shawbrook Bank who in 2016 admitted their failure in their due diligence on the affordability of the loan agreements. They set aside £9m to cover any defaults on the loan agreements, the CEO at the time had to resign.