If you have received a letter regarding our FCA review or have read press coverage about Buy As You View and the FCA, please read the points below which should answer any questions you may have.
The FCA identified concerns with our policies and procedures across a number of areas, such as fees which were not clearly set out to customers, the fair treatment of customers in arrears, and the manner in which we use payment meters to restrict access to the customer’s TV when payments are not received on time. Concerns were also raised over the robustness of our creditworthiness assessments and the use of modified agreements.
What are we doing about it?
We will be contacting customers who have been affected by the issues identified by the FCA and providing redress, through either balance write downs or cash.
Which fees were not clearly set out to customers?
- Unpaid Direct Debit fees applied between 2001 and 2015 when we stopped charging these fees.
- ‘Fresh Start Refinance’ administration fees applied between November 2012 and March 2014 when we stopped charging these fees.
What is a modified agreement and why did they cause concern?
Previously when customers with existing products wanted to buy additional goods they could either use a new agreement or a modified agreement. A modified agreement meant the weekly payments were lower but the overall cost was higher. The alternative was to create a separate agreement that meant the weekly payment was higher but the overall cost was lower. We will be contacting customers who took out modified agreements between April 2014 and August 2015, when we stopped using them, to understand if they were aware of this when the goods were sold. All responses will be individually assessed.
What is a creditworthiness assessment and why did they cause concern?
Creditworthiness assessments are used to understand how much customers can afford to repay each week. The FCA identified concerns about whether we had been lending outside of our own lending policy. A review of our lending decisions from 1 April 2014 to the 22 October 2015 is being carried out. Any customers identified who may have been lent more than they could afford will be contacted during the next 12 months for individual assessment.
How will I know if this affects me?
We will be contacting affected customers with further details during the next 12 months and you do not need to take any action now. Please be assured that we are working hard to write to you as quickly as we can.
If you have any questions in the meantime or would like to provide details of a new address where we can contact you our teams are on hand to help. You can email us at CET@bayv.co.uk or call us on 03331 369 347.