Smart Loans prompt outcry for payday loans fee
Credit broker says would-be borrowers can claim back cash after flood of complaints to ombudsman20 May 2014
Consumers left out of pocket by credit broker Smart Loans, which charged upfront fees to source loans that were never received, have been told they can claim back their money, as it emerged the Financial Ombudsman has been deluged with hundreds of complaints about the firm.
Credit brokers have caused controversy by targeting cash-strapped borrowers searching for payday loans. Those using them are often unaware that a fee of up to £70 could be taken from their bank account for a "loan search".
Some even find they are hit with a string of fees when details are passed to other brokers, even though they have never received a loan.
Smart Loans, a trading name of Click4Profit Ltd, is the latest to come under fire from consumers who said they did not realise they would be charged for using the site.
Gary Miller was searching for a loan of a few hundred pounds, and didn't realise he was applying through a credit broker. "Next thing I know Smart Loans takes £68.50 from my account, despite my never receiving a loan. I've tried to contact this company but had no reply."
When he realised it was part of Click4Profit he got in touch with the parent company. "But they asked for a 'receipt'," he says. "I've never received any such thing."