Henley business and Herald sponsor, European Consumer Claims last week hit the front page of the FT in an article ‘Barclays ordered to repay millions on timeshare loans in Malta.’
Barclays has been ordered by the Financial Conduct Authority to repay millions of pounds in interest on mis-sold timeshare loans in Malta and faces a further investigation that could make the bank reimburse debt payments in full. In a letter to borrowers last week, Barclays acknowledged it had been told by the FCA to hand back interest already charged on loans issued between April 2014 and April 2016 by timeshare operator, Azure Services. Barclays will also cancel future interest due on the more than 1,400 loans.
Barclays Partner Finance was the banking partner for Azure Resorts, and underwrote financing agreements sold to holidaymakers. Although Azure Resorts was licensed by the FCA to sell loans, the employees brokering the financing agreements were working for another company, Azure Services, which was not authorised by the FCA until April 2016.
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of European Consumer Claims (ECC), a firm that helps people out of improper timeshare contracts, said “The FCA’s decision set an important precedent.” While the sum is a “drop in the bucket” for the bank, “there are billions of pounds of timeshare loans in this market place that all fit the terms of these breaches”, Mr Cooper said. “The majority of the firm’s open cases involve bank loans sold by unauthorised firms,” he added.
In the article it said, “The repaid and waved interest amounts to an estimated £26m, about half of the value of the £48m of loans in question, according to Malaga-based law firm, M1 Legal who work with ECC and represent the borrowers whose cases were reviewed by the FCA. A spokesman for Barclays said that figure could be “materially overstated”, but declined to provide a more exact estimate. Barclays said it ended its relationship with Azure in 2018, but “we recognise that between April 2014 and April 2016 we did not provide the right level of service.”
You can read the full article here
For more details about European Consumer Claims go to their website https://ecc-eu.com/