Hire purchase company to compensate more than 59,000 customers after FCA verdict

The payouts for unfair treatment will total £939,000

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More than 59,000 customers of a hire purchase firm will receive compensation payouts totalling £939,000 for unfair treatment, the City regulator has said.

Dunraven Finance Ltd, trading as "rent to own" provider Buy As You View (BAYV), which sells electronics and furniture, has agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to pay the redress.

Among the FCA's concerns was BAYV's use of payment meters to restrict access to the customer's TV when payments were not received on time.

It also raised concerns about how clearly fees were set out to customers as well as the treatment of customers in arrears.

The regulator said BAYV, based in Bridgend, South Wales, has now changed the way it uses payment meters. A default notice will now be issued at least 14 days before restricting access to the customer's TV. It has also made further changes to the way it operates, such as no longer applying certain charges.

BAYV said in a statement that since 1972, it has collected payments via a payment meter, in a similar way to the process used in the supply of utilities.

The meter is connected to the customer's TV and historically, when payments were not made, power to the TV was temporarily interrupted until a suitable payment or arrangement was made. BAYV said it has now amended this process to put the notice period in place.

Jonathan Davidson, director of supervision - retail and authorisations at the FCA said: "We are pleased that BAYV is working with us to address our concerns."

BAYV will be contacting customers and providing redress, through either balance writedowns or cash.

Customers do not need to take any action, as BAYV will start contacting those affected within the next two weeks. BAYV has set up a page on its website giving further information to customers at www.bayv.co.uk/help/faq.

Graham Clarke, chief executive officer at BAYV, said: "We have worked closely with the FCA in recent months to address these issues and I am sorry to any of our customers who may have experienced difficulties as a result of us not achieving the high standards we set ourselves.

"We have gone further than the recommendations in the review by making additional changes to our operations. As we continue on our transformational journey, our aim is to be the most responsible lender in the sector."

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