Rent-to-own provider BrightHouse to provide £14.8 million in redress to customers
Following discussions with the financial regulator, Rent-to-own firm BrightHouse has agreed to pay over £14.8 million (in the form of cash payments and balance adjustments) to 249,000 customers. This covers 384,000 agreements for lending which may not have been affordable and payments which should have been refunded.
BrightHouse (a trading name of Caversham Finance Limited) is a rent-to-own business that provides household goods to customers on hire purchase agreements. These include items such as furniture, washing machines and televisions.
BrightHouse has been working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority since late 2014, when the watchdog found that some of the firm’s lending processes did not always deliver good outcomes for customers, particularly those who were at a higher risk of falling into financial difficulty.
In response to these concerns BrightHouse has undertaken an extensive programme of work to improve its lending application assessment to ensure that loans are affordable and customers are treated fairly throughout the collections process, including revising its late payment fee structure.
In addition, BrightHouse has identified customers that may have been treated unfairly where its processes fell short of FCA expectations and has committed to putting things right for these customers.
BrightHouse will write to all affected customers, to explain the refund or balance adjustment that they will receive. Customers do not need to take any action until they are contacted by BrightHouse.
Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision – Retail and Authorisations at the FCA, said: “During the time in question, BrightHouse was not a responsible lender and failed to meet our expectations of firms in this sector. I am pleased that it have agreed to provide redress to those customers affected by these historic practices.”