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Payday lender Sunny Loans falls into administration

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Sunny’s parent company Elevate Credit International (ECIL) has appointed administrators after business issues were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Short-term high-cost loan firm Sunny has gone into administration, with more than 50,000 customers affected.

Ed Boyle and David Pike at KMPG have been appointed joint administrators of ECIL which provided. consumer loans under the “Sunny”. It previously also offered loans under the ‘1 Monthly Loan’ and ‘Quid’ brands.

The company’s collapse had been expected after ECIL filed a Notice of Intent to appoint administrators last week.

The business had been under financial pressure for some time, which was then exacerbated by the pandemic.

ECIL operated as a UK subsidiary of US-based Elevate Credit. ECIL going into administration will not impact other Elevate Credit brands or operations.

Sunny joins an ever-growing list of short-term lenders that have ceased trading in the past year. Others include My Money Partner, Swift Sterling, 247 Moneybox, Piggybank and Quick Quid.

Sunny employed about 143 staff at its offices in London and Bury St Edmunds, 32 of which have been made redundant today. The remainder are being retained by the administrators while they assess options for the business.

What do Sunny customers need to know?

All new lending has now stopped, but customers with existing loans have been advised to keep making repayments in the usual way. Interest will accrue on outstanding loans as usual, with terms and conditions unchanged.

Craig Simmons, head of debt policy and strategy at the Money and Pensions Service, says: “This will be an uncertain time for Sunny customers. While you may be tempted to stop your repayments, it is usually best to keep to your regular schedule so you fulfil the loan agreement you have entered into.

“If you miss any repayments you could be hit by fees and additional charges, and it could also harm your credit rating. An exception might be if you have registered a complaint with Sunny, where personalised advice may be required.”

Sunny’s customer service team can be contacted on 0800 7315 444 or by emailing help@sunny.co.uk.

Customers with complaints about Sunny can submit them in the usual way whilst the company is in administration.

However, any compensation or claim that arises from complaints made against ECIL will be treated as an unsecured creditor claim – it’s not yet known if there will be sufficient funds to pay these.

Unaffordable loans

Since 2015 an increasing number of borrowers have complained about unaffordable payday loans from a number of lenders.

The FCA says that a lender has to make reasonable checks that a loan it gives is “affordable” – but many payday lenders failed to do this, leading to customers complaining and many taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

In the second half of 2019, FOS received 2,897 complaints about Sunny and it agreed with the customer in 76% of Sunny cases.

This is more than twice as high as the average FOS uphold rate across all cases, which was just 35% for that period.

Current and former customers of ECIL are encouraged to view the Frequently Asked Questions on the Sunny website which provides further information.