12-year ban for debt management boss
29 Aug 2018
The director of three Birmingham debt management companies has been banned for 12 years after an Insolvency Service investigation found he had failed to ensure companies provided regulated advice to their customers
29 Aug 2018
Delroy Roberts was a director of Haydon Associates Debt Management Consultants Ltd, Sterling Financial Security Ltd and Clear View Finance Ltd.
He was appointed a director of each of the companies between January 2012 and March 2013, and all three held approved licences to provide consumer credit activities. However, during Roberts’ tenure the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received several complaints.
Customers had a range of grievances, including not receiving updates about changes to their debt plans, and said that despite making regular payments, the money they owed to their creditors did not decrease. At the same time, creditors were not paid the full amount and on occasions, they were not paid at all.
The majority of these complaints were upheld and as a result, the three companies were ordered by the FOS to refund the customers. But while some were refunded, other customers were not.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also issued warnings to Roberts but he failed to ensure the three companies adhered to regulated guidance, the companies did not provide written statements to customers setting out their debt positions and they also failed to provide information about customers to the FCA.
The three companies entered into liquidation in December 2015 following the issues with the FCA, as well as experiencing financial difficulties.
Not only did existing customers leave the three companies but Roberts had also agreed with the FCA that the debt management companies would not enter into any new contractual arrangements and as a result, had not generated any new income.
Following the Insolvency Service investigation, Roberts did not dispute that he had failed to ensure that the three debt management companies complied with the FCA and has now been banned for 12 years.
Anthea Simpson, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘People who turn to debt management companies are often in need of urgent help with no-where else to turn to but Delroy Roberts failed to provide an adequate service to his customers.
‘Roberts is banned from running companies for over a decade and this should send a clear warning to other directors that if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its customers or its creditors then we will take strong action against them.’
Report by Pat Sweet