Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Watchdog raps MBNA over debt collection

Published 15/12/2010

Credit card group MBNA has been ordered to improve the way it deals with customers struggling to keep up with their debt.

The Office of Fair Trading has imposed a series of requirements on the lender after Citizens Advice raised concerns about the way its in-house debt collection arm was handling customers in financial difficulties.

The trading watchdog found when people who could not afford to make their full repayments offered to pay a token sum, the letters MBNA sent to them were so unclear, consumers often could not tell if their offer had been rejected or accepted.

It also failed to follow its own policy on some occasions, by bypassing customers' appointed representatives, and instead contacting individuals directly.

As a result of the investigation, from January 1 MBNA must make it clearer in letters sent to customers who are in financial difficulties that it will accept partial repayments if they have shown this is what they can afford.

It must also stick to its policy of only contacting customers who have an appointed representative to act on their behalf if the customer or representative has given permission for this, or if they have confirmed that the representative no longer acts for the customer.

The group may also contact customers directly if an expected payment has not been made, or it has been unable to get in touch with the representative, despite making reasonable efforts.

It can continue to send statements of account or other communications to customers in line with its statutory obligations.

The OFT added MBNA had co-operated fully during the investigation and was in the process of addressing the issues.

If the group breaches any of the requirements it can be fined up to £50,000 and even have its consumer credit licence revoked.

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph