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UPDATED - Direct Financial Claims Ltd who trade as Payday Refunds are now under CMR investigation!

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

The Claims Management Regulator has very recently advised[1] that Direct Financial Claims limited who trade as Payday Refunds are being investigated under Regulation 35 of the Compensation (Claims Management Services) Regulations 2006 Act titled ‘Regulator to investigate complaints or suspicions of unprofessional conduct’[2].


This news follows on from the revelations in the Sunday Times[3] and Mirror[4] of ‘struck off loan shark’ Mark Kennedy’s connection to Payday Refunds Mark Kennedy was one of four directors who created a company that “feasted like sharks in a pool of the most vulnerable and financially distressed”, according to the Insolvency Service. The four directors; David Carter Mullins, Christopher Brotherton, Edward Booth and Mark Kennedy were banned from acting as directors after an investigation into the credit broker Secure My Money, which claimed to act as a price comparison site for payday lenders.

The Sunday Times reported how Payday Refunds was one of the ‘most aggressive’ CMC’s with the company filing 2,138 new cases with FOS in the first 6 months of this year.


In the period 1st January to 10th October 2018, the FOS managed to resolve 200 (9.35%) of these complaints. 24% of these (so 48 cases) were upheld in favour of the customer. It follows that 76% were unsubstantiated complaints, Lenders will be charged a total of £1,175,900 in FOS fees for the 2,138 PaydayRefunds complaints. If eventually the same uphold rate is sustained, £893,684 will have been paid in FOS fees for unsubstantiated complaints.


Since the publication of the revelations in the mainstream press, the directors at Direct Financial Claims Ltd have changed once more as Jonathan James Smith (date of birth October 1971) replaced Vincenzo Vernon as sole director on 30th September 2018.[5] Smith is also listed as the current director of Hotpond Media[6], a company which “trade in raw data, create fresh data across all platforms including google and social”[7] and whose past directors include David James Carter Mullins[8]. Hotpond Media Ltd is authorised by the FCA[9] where listed trading names include http.//www24hcarloans.co.uk and www.moneymint.co.uk.


A Jonathan James Smith with a date of birth of October 1971 was also appointed[10] as sole director of currently authorised CMC, First Claims Group Ltd[11] earlier on this year. First Claims Group Ltd trade as Paydayclaimhelp[12] and was granted authorisation by the Claims Management Regulator on 22nd May 2015.

[1] https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/details.aspx/42084/Direct_Financial_Claims_Limited/

[2] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/3322/regulation/35/made

[3] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/struck-off-loan-shark-mark-kennedy-circles-compensation-claims-cash-brtz06lcb

[4] https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/banned-director-rip-payday-loan-13232690

[5] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09659598/officers

[6] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08487030/filing-history

[7] https://hotpondmedia.co.uk/index.php/about-us/

[8] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/09-2cdnsB9UnB6LMHTc_HH_Dr7o/appointments

[9] https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000001zzEQEAA2

[10] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08793318/officers

[11] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08793318/officers

[12] https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/details.aspx/39746/First_Claims_Group_Ltd/?search=simple&category=BusinessName&text=First+Claims+Group+Ltd&sectors=&statuses=&dates=&startdate=00010101&enddate=99991231


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