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Cash Genie writes off millions over loan failings.

PAYDAY lender Cash Genie has agreed to refund or write-off PS20m relating to 92,000 customers after admitting to a series of unfair practices, the City watchdog said.

Failings included charging interest equivalent to 30% on the outstanding loan balance per month - a higher rate than stated in customer contracts - as well as unfair charges such as PS50 to transfer customers to a sister debt collection firm.

There was even a PS30 fee where customers applied for money back believing that Cash Genie had taken an unauthorised payment from their account, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed.

Cash Genie notified the FCA in A June last year that it had engaged in unfair practices and subsequently agreed to an independent review of its past business and to carry out a redress scheme.

It has now agreed to provide PS10m in redress and has already written off PS10.3m of fees and interest.

Linda Woodall, acting director of supervision for retail and authorisations at the FCA, said: "We have been encouraged that Cash Genie has been working with us proactively and openly to put things right after these issues were reported.

"Although standards in the consumer credit sector are improving, it is disappointing that examples of poor practice in the payday market keep surfacing."

failings outlined by the FCA - dating A back to the launch of Cash Genie in September 2009 - included loans being refinanced or rolled over without customers' request or consent and without undertaking appropriate checks.

Ariste Holdings, the company behind Cash Genie, also traded as www.txtmecash.co.uk and www.paydayiseveryday.co.uk.

The FCA said banking information A provided to these websites had been used to take payment for existing Cash Genie loans without customers' informed consent.

It also said Cash Genie failed to send annual statements to customers who had not repaid their loans after 12 months, meaning that it should not subsequently have applied further fees or interest to accounts.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 28, 2015
Words:326
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