The BBC has discovered that the UK's largest sub-prime loan broker, Yes Loans, has been allowed to run on an expired credit licence for almost a year.
The company is effectively run by a man who has obtained an exemption from a
10 year ban
for "serious misconduct".
It is accused of not making it easy for customers who want refunds, which is a breach of consumer regulation.
And campaign groups say the Office of Fair Trading and the government are not protecting the public.
Have you dealt with loan brokers who asked for fees?
Maybe you had difficulty getting money back from such a firm.
Why not tell us your experiences?
MOST RECENT COMMENTS
I had been declined a loan from my high street bank so browsed the internet for other lending companies. Yes Loans contacted me and although I was reluctant to pay the fee they eventually persuaded me it would be worth my while and they would definitely be able to find me a loan. They said to me that if after three months they couldn't find me a suitable lender my money would be returned and all I would have to do is phone and let them know. That was back in September 2008. I have since tried to get in contact with them on their premium rate phone number and on one occasion was on hold for up to 15 minutes at which point I had to hang up.
Sarah Dinwoodie, Cardiff
I have just found out my account had been debited £69.50 by Yes Loans. I had no knowledge that they would be taking any money from my account especially since I did not use any of the companies they put me forward for. I contacted them this morning to be told I would have to write in for a refund and if I have no knowledge of impending payment the refund process will take longer. Yes Loans confirmed I have no way of contacting their admin team and they will speak to them on my behalf. I have been led a merry dance by this company and I'm beyond disappointed.
Maureen Charles, London
I disagree and feel that loan brokers are a big help for people like myself who come under the "subprime market" category. I have used Yes Loans recently and they found me a loan promptly.
Mark Tewkett, Gloucester
I applied to Yes Loans of Cardiff for a loan in 2003 was asked for a £40 fee but no loan was ever made. Have tried many times to get a refund but their policy seems to be to ignore customers.
Nick Andrews, Fareham
Great programme. I have been trying to recover two fees paid to Yes Loans last December with no luck. Your broadcast on Saturday was a bit of an eye-opener. I shall have to try harder!
Richard Dawe, Reading
I have worked for Yes Loans since February 2008 and have found it to be an excellent place to work and I can remember how tough it was without a job and that is a situation I may face again if the company closes. I feel passionate about Yes Loans and about Keith Chorlton who has been firm but very fair to me as an employee. When times have been tough for the business I could have easily been laid off, however Keith found an alternative job for me in the business so I could retain an income each month and to this I am extremely grateful. I talk to hundreds of people each week and feel good that we are able to help the majority of our customers and delivery an excellent service. If my co-workers and I find ourselves unemployed due to a very small fraction of complaints which I believe are unfounded it will be a disaster for many families in the Cwmbran and South Wales area. I feel this is a personal vendetta against Keith Chorlton and due to this over 350 people and their families could fall on hard times.
Robert Ralph, Yes Loans
I am an employee of the Yes Loans Group and have been for the past four years. I strongly disagree with all this negative publicity. Your issue should be quite clearly with the OFT and not Keith Chorlton. I feel that the situation is being completely blown out of proportion from just a few complaints. With such a large company that deals with so many clients, there will always be the odd complaint, this is the same for any company. I can confirm that the refund procedure has been updated within the last six months and is very effective. Yes Loans is a successful business that employs over 300 members of staff: employees that have families, children and mortgages. Genuine, honest people who earn an honest living. The BBC has relentlessly pursued our company and seems committed to taking our jobs away, by sending reporters out to our workplace and creating seriously negative publicity over just a handful of complaints.
My advice to anyone looking for a loan is to go direct to the lenders themselves. I applied recently to a loan broker, paid £50, then was sent through to Financial Plus. When I spoke to their representative, I was told that if I had applied directly to Financial Plus, I would have been offered exactly the same deal and saved myself £50! It's ridiculous that these companies are allowed to take so much money for simply passing name and addresses on to lenders!
Francis Sinnet, Belfast
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