Two payday lenders have been shut down after it emerged that one of the people behind them is a convicted fraudster.
The move is the latest in the Office of Fair Trading’s get-tough policy on dodgy lenders that prey on vulnerable people.
Brighton-based Loansdirect2u.com charged 2,514 per cent APR for small value loans. But it also coined it in by hitting with a range of outrageous fees on top, including an upfront £3.99 charge which it kept if loans were turned down.
If borrowers struggled to repay loans they were hit with a fiver charge to roll them over to another month while there was a tenner charge if the lender was unable to take the cash out of the borrower’s charge.
The company then charged another £20 if it called in debt collectors to chase the loan.
But it – and B2B International UK, another payday lender at the same address - was shut down after it came to light that Neil Evans, an associate of both companies, had been convicted for offences involving violence and fraud.
David Fisher, the OFT’s senior director of consumer credit, said: “We will protect consumers against anyone who fails to disclose relevant information about criminal convictions on their licence applications.”
The Watchdog also shut down VK Money Lifestyle, a business based in Hatfield.
It had applied for a credit licence to offer debt management services, including debt adjusting and debt counselling, but the OFT judged that the applicant failed to have enough knowledge, experience and skills to run a debt management business.