Your questions answered below:
Who is Dollar UK?
Dollar UK is part of US-based DFC Global Corp, a leading international financial services provider for over 30 years. Through our subsidiary companies, Instant Cash Loans Ltd and T.M. Sutton Ltd, we own a number of popular British high street brands. These include The Money Shop and three of the UK’s oldest pawnbroking businesses, Suttons and Robertsons, Duncanson and Edwards and Robert Biggar.
What does Dollar UK do?
We provide simple, straightforward financial services that meet the everyday needs of ordinary people. We have a range of popular products including short-term loans, pawnbroking, cheque-cashing, buying and selling gold, foreign exchange, money transfer and prepaid debit cards. We have a network of high street stores, providing convenient access for customers whenever they need to use our services.
How is Dollar UK regulated?
Our consumer credit businesses are regulated and supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA took over responsibility for regulating consumer credit firms from the Office of Fair Trading in April 2014. The first of our consumer credit businesses submitted its application for full FCA authorisation in February 2015. Every credit business in the UK will need to be authorised by the FCA if it wants to continue to provide consumer credit products.
What kind of loans do you provide?
Our customers want small-sum, short-term cash loans and we provide two types of product to meet their needs. First, cash loans via our high street outlets. Second, pawnbroking loans secured against the customer’s personal property. The customer enters a loan agreement and pays an interest charge. They can repay the principal amount and redeem their property at any time, but risk losing their item if they fail to repay on time.
Customers borrow for a variety of reasons. Typical uses include car repair, white goods and unexpected bills. Recent research commissioned by YouGov found that 93% of customers say we treat them with dignity and respect, while 89% of Money Shop loan customers say we explain our charges and fees clearly.
How do you ensure you lend responsibly?
We have strict lending policies to ensure our loans are affordable. We strive to be a socially responsible lender and deliver good outcomes for customers at every stage of the lending process. We aim only to lend to people who can afford to repay; and we respond flexibly and sympathetically when customers need longer to repay their loans. This makes good business sense as well as being socially responsible.
At the same time, we also aim to be there for customers whenever they need to borrow. Many customers are denied access to other forms of credit like bank loans and credit cards. If we are satisfied we can lend to them responsibly and safely, we will be there for people.
How has FCA regulation affected your business?
The process of FCA authorisation has been transformative for our credit businesses. We are making changes to the way we operate and working with the FCA to ensure our businesses exceed the expectations of both regulator and customers alike. We are building a sustainable, responsible and profitable business that will serve customers and communities for the long run.
For the regulator, ensuring ‘good customer outcomes’ is key. We share this goal and have restructured our business around it. The customer’s interests come first at every stage of the lending process.
At the same time, we remain responsive to changing customer needs. The departure of so many payday businesses will create a different market place. We are changing our offer and bringing new products to customers based on what they want and need.