Controversial rent-to-own business Brighthouse edges closer to FCA approval

 
Helen Cahill
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Some customers were paying far more than the market rates for goods (Source: Getty)

Embattled retailer Bright House had some good news to share this morning. After grappling with the Financial Conduct Authority over how it treats its customers, it has announced that the watchdog is likely to grant the business its consumer credit licence.

Bright House, the UK's largest rent-to-own retailer, has come under fire for charging high interest rates to vulnerable customers. The rates forced on customers were in some cases so high that they ultimately paid far above the market rate for products.

Read more: BrightHouse IPO plans hit turbulence over MP inquiry

The FCA gave Bright House permission to trade temporarily while it conducted its investigation. Today, Bright House said it will be given full authorisation to trade, if it meets certain conditions by 15 May next year.

In a statement, Bright House said: "We are pleased to have successfully reached this important milestone and that the FCA is minded to authorise our business, subject to all of the above conditions being met...Bright House has worked closely with the FCA during their rigorous and thorough examination of our business."

Read more: BrightHouse in bid for favour with watchdog

Here are some of the conditions handed to Bright House from the watchdog:

  • The company must re-structure its debt so it can prove it is financially sustainable for at least three years
  • It must stick to a business plan that treats customers fairly
  • Its debt restructuring and its business plan must not incentivise Bright House mistreating customers.

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