Debt advice charity saved by £180k payout from bank

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A charity with an Ilkeston base which helps people in debt has been saved after winning a long-running dispute with a major bank over a mortgage product which it claimed was mis-sold.

Direct Help and Advice (DHA) had been facing a financial crisis of its own after Royal Bank of Scotland allegedly mis-sold it a mortgage product which left it out of pocket.

The charity, which offers support to people with housing issues and also helps people who are facing homelessness, claimed it was mis-sold an Interest Rate Hedge Product by the bank five years ago.

DHA, which has an office on Bath Street in Ilkeston as well as a base in Derby, took on the product to support its mortgage loans.

mis-selling claim

In August, charity representatives met the bank with regard to its mis-selling claim.

But after five months it was still waiting for RBS to announce its decision.

Last month they learned that it will receive a full refund and costs totalling £180,000.

The product has also been cancelled.

Rafe Nauen, chairman of trustees at DHA, said: “It is nice to see that the little guy does sometimes win out in the end.

“We would like to thank everyone that has supported us, particularly over the last few weeks when we made our frustrations with the bank publicly known.”

The payout is a big relief for the charity which could have faced closure without the compensation - a move which could have seen 40 people lose their jobs.

Kath Jackson, centre co-ordinator, of the Bath Street branch, explained: “It’s very difficult to say what might have happened if we didn’t get the pay out.

“And we definitely couldn’t have guaranteed that we would still be here.

“We helped more than 2,500 people in Ilkeston and Erewash last year, 40 people found work as a result of our training and support, so it’s hard to imagine the impact it could have had.”