Barclays is to pay almost £181m

Started by TimeshareTalk, May 06, 2022, 08:49:25

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Barclays is to pay almost £181m in compensation to around 6,000 customers who were improperly sold timeshares in Malta.

The bank is refunding loans brokered by the now-collapsed Azure Services, plus interest, following accusations of aggressive sales tactics dating back almost a decade.

It follows a lengthy campaign by Barclays Partner Finance customers who said they were invited on free holidays to the Mediterranean island and then pressured into taking out high-interest loans for timeshare properties at Azure Resorts.

Barclays said it was refunding all payments and fees to customers who had "expressed dissatisfaction" following a "detailed review of complaints related to the Azure timeshare book". It said "various factors" had "come to light" indicating that "Azure did not consistently adhere to the standards we expect of our credit brokers when providing credit to Barclays Partner
Finance customers".

Victims of alleged mis-selling said they were persuaded to attend marketing seminars where they were told the timeshares were good investments which could be sold at a higher price in later life. In reality the properties often had little or no resale value, leaving customers on the hook for the costly loans for years and eating up incomes required for retirement and care in old age.

Other accusations included irresponsible lending, with money lent to people who could not afford it. 

Victims will now have their loans cancelled and all their payments made to date refunded, including fees and interest, plus 8pc interest. Any black marks on credit files relating to Azure will also be removed.

Barclays said it would write to customers who had yet to complain to ask if they too had "concerns" over the timeshares they purchased.


"There are people in their eighties who should never have been able to borrow such large sums for these worthless investments who have been paying out every month for years. Some have been forced to remortgage or take out cheaper loans to cover the costs," he said. 

The payout comes on top of £37m paid to some 1,500 customers in June last year. These refunds related only to loans brokered between 2014 and 2016; the bank had held out on reimbursement for all customers until now. 

Customers have been warned to be wary of scammers or rogue firms asking for fees to help them claim their refunds.

Barclays said there was "no action required from customers at this time" and it was in the process of finalising all the necessary arrangements. It said it would contact all customers affected during the latter part of 2022 "to advise of further details and next steps".

A spokesman added: "We sincerely apologise that this issue has occurred and for the time taken for us to reach these conclusions."

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