CWMBRAN-BASED Yes Loans has had its licence revoked due to "deceitful and oppressive" business practices.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) confirmed today that Yes Loans one of the UK's largest brokers of unsecured credit and which employs 360 people in Llantarnam, is unfit to hold a consumer credit licence, as are two associated businesses, Blue Sky Personal Finance Limited and Money Worries Limited.

The OFT said it found evidence that Yes Loans had engaged in unfair business practices, including using high-pressure sales tactics to persuade consumers to provide their debit or credit card details on the false premise they were needed for an identity or security checks and deducting brokerage fees without making it clear a fee was payable, and/or without the consumer's consent.

The OFT also said Yes loans frequently arranged short-term, high interest, loans instead of helping customers find what they had originally called for, misleading them into believing it was a loan provider rather than a credit broker and treated customers poorly by not providing refunds in a timely manner.

The OFT ruled Yes Loans, based at Llantarnam Park, failed to comply with the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and with requirements previously imposed on it.

It said, following an investigation, Yes Loans made a number of changes to how it operates, including no longer charging upfront fees.

In a statement release today, the OFT said despite the changes, evidence of prolonged engagement in "deceitful and oppressive" business practices, and the continuing presence of some of the staff responsible for running the businesses, makes them unfit to hold a consumer credit licence.

David Fisher, director of consumer credit at the OFT, said: "We will take decisive action to tackle businesses that fail to treat people properly, especially the most vulnerable.

"This action also makes it clear that belatedly changing business practices when facing the prospect of enforcement action by the OFT does not make a company fit to hold a credit licence."