Radio adverts claiming people with money problems can escape up to 80% of their debts are misleading and unethical, debt management company Debt Free Direct said today, reports the Guardian .
The company has passed a dossier of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) alleging rival firms have breached advertising rules by making exaggerated claims about their ability to write-off debts to banks and other lenders.
Accuma, Spectrum and W3 Debt Solutions were among the companies named in the dossier, which the ASA said it would consider before moving to a full inquiry, says the paper.
The ASA will be under pressure to launch a full inquiry after the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, accused the debt management industry of sending a message to consumers debts were something they could easily dodge.
IN SEPARATE news, profits at Debt Free Direct more than doubled as the average number of individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) organised by the firm rose to 538 a month, according to the Daily Telegraph.
In the six months to 31 October pre-tax profits soared 128% to £4.3m, turnover rose 91% to £12.24m and its interim dividend was raised from 1.5p to 3p.
However the large rise in the numbers of IVAs comes amid increasing pressure for tighter regulation of the fast growing industry.
Last week Jim Fitzpatrick, the minister responsible for insolvency activity, said the government was monitoring the sector and would step in if the industry fails to get its "own house in order".
STANDARD LIFE Investments (SLI) has crashed through the £1bn barrier of sales for the year – the first time the operation has beaten the milestone in a single calendar year, says the Scotsman.
Gross sales at 30 September stood at £1.21bn for the nine months since January, while net inflows over the same period are also approaching the same level at £920m.
Jacqueline Kerr, head of mutual fund investments at the Edinburgh investment house, said she was "naturally" delighted with the figures.
She added: "What's behind it is that we are amassing an extremely strong performance track record and the opening up of the life insurance business to mutual funds. We don't just have to rely on sales of ISAs, OEICs and unit trusts.”
MERVYN DAVIES has become the latest senior British banking figure to scale down his workload in a surprise shake-up, in which the chief executive of Standard Chartered will become its three-day-a-week non-executive chairman, says the Times.
“Mervyn has some other things that he wants to do,” a spokesman for the £21bn Asian-focused bank said.
Davies, who has held the top job for five years, is succeeded by Peter Sands, Standard Chartered’s finance director since 2002.
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