Morses Club PLC recently announced its plans to introduce a Scheme of Arrangement (“Scheme”) that is designed to protect customers against historic liabilities and ensure the company can continue trading.
The proposed compensation fund for this Scheme is “at least” £20 million, which could be either £15 million or the fair value of Morses Club, from an issue of new equity. This is intended to provide redress and compensation to those who have incurred financial losses as a result of their dealings with Morses Club in the past, as well as providing protection for future dealings.
In order to facilitate this Scheme, Morses Club has established a subsidiary and created a Claims Portal which customers can use to register their claims and receive their compensation.
It is important that customers take time to understand how the Scheme may affect them and consider registering a claim using the Claims Portal if they believe they are entitled. More information on the Scheme and the Claims Portal can be found on www.morsesclubscheme.com
Morses Club PLC are one of the largest home collected, home credit or “doorstep loan” companies in the UK. Unlike most other loan companies in the UK, Morses Club is different in that weekly repayments are collected by an agent, rather than online (their Customer App can also be used for online payments).
Morses Club claim to have around 180,000 customers in the UK and Northern Ireland, and to have the second largest market share in the UK Home Collected Credit Market. With a rich history in the loan industry, Morses Club PLC dates back over 130 years, and many customers have been with them for years, preferring the personal touch of having a weekly visit from an agent.
As the name indicates, local agents collect payments weekly from the doorstep of your home. Typically, these loans are more short term (months rather than years) and generally for small amounts of money compared to say Guarantor Loans. Short term doorstep loans tend to have higher interest rates than longer term loans. In addition, many people borrow from the same lender for years.
Morses Club promote their cash doorstep loans as being suitable for unforeseen costs, such as repairing a faulty boiler, or paying for an MOT, the benefit being that there is no commitment to a long-term agreement. They offer short term cash loans from £100 to £1,500; repayment terms for new customers are 35 weeks, and for existing customers there is a 52 week option (depending on the amount borrowed).
Morses Club customers have been complaining that they were unable to afford the loans they were sold, as the company did not check thoroughly enough that they could make the repayments without increasing their debt by taking out further loans in order to repay the initial loan (or by going overdrawn or letting other bills go unpaid).
The regulator deems that a loan is unaffordable and/or irresponsible (even if you paid that loan on time and in full) if you had to borrow again to keep up with repayments. In many cases these additional loans were from the same lender – and in this case they should have registered that the customer was getting into deeper and deeper debt.
Many customers have been successful in getting refunds and compensation based on the fact that companies such as Morses Club neglected to properly check that the loan was affordable. Customers say that they did not know that the lender was supposed to check that they could afford to repay the loan without getting into more debt.
This is not the only complaint from long term customers! They have also criticised Morses Club agents/collectors for encouraging refinanced top up loans - which meant that a customer paid more interest than if they had simply taken out a new loan and continued to pay the old one.
Another complaint is that Morses Club agents have only recommended getting a new loan rather than offering a repayment plan for an existing loan when the customer’s circumstances changed (e.g., lost job) and they failed to keep up with repayments.
It also appears that some agents/collectors fill out an application for a customer to sign without giving them plenty of time to read it, or they encourage the customer to alter some parts of the application form for it to be approved – clearly many customers desperate for the cash will comply, leading to unrealistic payments and timescales, and further debt.
Customers of Morses Club, many of whom relied on its more “old-fashioned” method of face-to-face contact, feel that the company did not have their best interests at heart, and just led them into taking out more loans which they could not afford.
Redbridge Finance will look at whether Morses Club offered you any irresponsible, or unaffordable lending, usually because they did not gather enough accurate information about your income and outgoings. The Financial Ombudsman Service dictates that all lenders are obliged to undertake full due diligence when assessing if a potential borrower should be offered a line of credit, this is at the heart of our investigations, and our successful claims for our customers.
Morse Club PLC also own Dot Dot Loans, a trading name of Shelby Finance Ltd, a UK based online loan company. Dot Dot Loans launched in 2017 and was designed for customers who did not want the personal agent/doorstep approach and preferred a fully online service.
Dot Dot Loans are a high-cost short-term lender, based in Batley, West Yorkshire. offering loans to all kinds of borrowers, including those with poor or no credit. Dot Dot Loans pride themselves on being convenient (it’s all online), and lending responsibly.
How can Redbridge Finance help if I think I was mis-sold a Morses Club loan?
If you feel that Morse Club lent you money when it was clear that they did not make proper in-depth checks to see if you could afford the loan, then we can help by assessing your claim to see if you were mis-sold the service they offer.
Our claims experts can take on your case and make a claim for a full refund of all the interest and charges that Morses Club has levied. If you want to make a complaint against Morse Club, the process is very simple. Just sign up on our site and let us know which lender or lenders you want to make a claim against. We then evaluate the information you have provided and take your claim forward by making a complaint on your behalf. We deal with the responses from Morses Club, and of course, will keep you informed every step of the way.
If you have had problems repaying your loan or think you might have been mis-sold a loan, then you could be entitled to a refund and compensation. Contact us today by going to www.redbridgefinance.co.uk and signing up, and we can assess if you have a claim.