payday loans

Cash Genie, a payday loan company which stopped offering payday loans to customers in September last year, has been fined £20m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Owned by Ariste Holding, Cash Genie was launched in 2009. However, the lender has received a compensation bill after customers were charged £50, in order to be transferred to the company’s debt collection business. More than 92,000 customers are thought to be eligible to receive compensation.

This was just one of a number of a “unfair” charges the company forced upon its customers. The company rolled loans over without customers asking or permitting for this to happen, without checking if this was appropriate. It also did not send annual statements to customers who did not repay their loan after 12 months (which meant the company should not have imposed more charges to people’s accounts).

Cash Genie referred itself to the FCA three months before it stopped lending, and shortly after lending stopped, EZCORP (its parent firm, based in the US) announced it would leave the UK payday loans market in 2015.

Linda Woodall, of the FCA, said: “Although standards in the consumer credit sector are improving, it is disappointing that examples of poor practice in the payday market keep surfacing. We expect all firms to notify us of any unacceptable past or current practices and provide appropriate redress to anyone affected.”

Cash Genie has information on its website about the redress scheme.