Ken wanted to consolidate his debts with one lender in June 2022. The new lender approved Ken’s loan application and asked Ken for the bank account details so they could repay Ken’s existing debts directly. Ken gave the new lender the bank account details, but one account number was wrong.
The new lender repaid all Ken’s old debts, but because one account number was incorrect one loan was not repaid. The new lender said they had paid the money to the old lender, and it had not been returned. The old lender did not reply to Ken’s numerous emails. When Ken tried to call the lender, he was unable to speak to a person and the automated system was unable to resolve Ken’s problem.
Ken said that when he explained the problem to the new lender, they agreed to lend Ken enough money to pay off the old lender. Ken accepted the money and paid what had been originally owing but was left with some interest still owing. The interest had continued to run while the debt remained unpaid.
After months of frustration, Ken complained to FSCL. We referred the complaint to the old lender’s internal complaints process. The old lender said they had returned the money two days after receiving it and it was not their problem. The old lender’s response did not resolve Ken’s complaint and he asked us to investigate.
Ken said that while he was waiting for the old lender to respond he was continuing to pay interest on his debt. Ken wanted the old lender to apologise, close his account with no debt owing, and confirm there would be no impact on his credit score.
We put Ken’s request to the old lender as part of our Early Assistance process and the lender agreed to:
- write off the residual debt
- close Ken’s account
- confirm with the credit reference agency that the debt had no impact on Ken’s record
Ken accepted the offer and was delighted that his complaint was finally resolved.
Insights for participants
The old lender’s failure to communicate with Ken meant that they had to accept responsibility for an error that was probably not theirs in the first place. Ken had given the new lender the wrong bank account details, and the money had been returned to the new lender within two days. If the old lender had responded to Ken and confirmed that the money had been returned, the new lender would have had to find and resend the money to the correct account.