Update: Swift Sterling is a trading name of MMP Financial Limited, which went into liquidation in July 2016. This means that Swift Sterling is no longer taking new business, but must still abide by FCA regulation when dealing with existing customers.

Information correct as of 20.04.21 (FCA)

Are you considering a loan with Swift Sterling Loans? Or perhaps you already have one, and you’re looking for further information about the company. Either way, we’ve compiled the most important, in-depth information about Swift Sterling’s loan for you in this loan guide.

Who are Swift Sterling Loans?

Swift Sterling Loans is a direct lender based in the UK offering loans of up to £1,000 with a maximum repayment period of five months. The company is a trading name of MMP Financial Limited and was founded in 2015.

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New rules for Swift Sterling Loans

The Financial Conduct Authority has introduced new regulations for lending bodies.

Law #1: the loan company should have checked affordability

The Financial Conduct Authority determined that lenders should have ensured they made customers sign an agreement or they undertook an assessment to ensure the customer could afford to pay the loan back. If the affordability had not been checked, many lenders found themselves facing huge fines.

According to the law, the repayments should have been found to be sustainable. Which means the customer could afford to make repayments, while being able to take care of other essential commitments, such as rent, foods and day to day bills. They should not have had to take out further loans to be able to afford the repayments.

Law #2: interest and charges – know your limits

The Financial Conduct Authority put a price cap in place, which was a measure to help protect borrowers from being faced with high charges. These caps are:

  • 0.8% cost cap per day on the value of the loan – including fees and interest
  • £15 default fees cap the lender may still charge interest following a default, must it must not be more than the daily cost cap
  • 100% complete cost cap – the lender should never expect you to pay over 100% of the total cost.

The cost caps apply to the credit agreements with interest at over 100%, that would be paid back within a year, either partially or fully.

Other laws were enforced from May 2017, and these laws state that lenders are responsible for ensuring their products are available for borrowers to see on an FCA authorised price comparison website. Additionally, the borrower must also be given a total summary of the cost of what they have borrowed.

Law #3: continuous payment authority behaviour

It is common practice to be asked to pay back the debt through a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA). In the past, a CPA meant that the company would be able to take as much as they want from your account at any given time.

New regulations were introduced for this reason and one element of the new rules is that the lender must only attempt to take the funds on two occasions. If the funds are not available on the second attempt, they must not attempt it a third time.

There are also rules that relate to the amount of money the lender is allowed to take via a CPA. They do not have the right to take anything other than the full payment; partial payments are not permitted. If you do not have the necessary funds in your account to cover the full value of the debt, they cannot take any funds at all. They can only do this if they have your prior agreement, but it is necessary to provide them with permission first.

What if you are unable to stick to the repayment plan?

If you have no issues with the manner in which Swift Sterling Loans UK has operated, and you have set up a repayment plan that you can’t stick to, there are ways the company could help you.

These are some rules lenders must stick to:

  • Give you information on where you can find free independent debt advice
  • Stop debt recovery while you devise a more suitable arrangement to repay the debt
  • Give you ample time for repaying your debt, possibly freezing interest and any further charges.

References

CONC 2.1 Application

CONC 5.2A Creditworthiness assessment

CONC 13.1 Application

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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