Financial Ombudsman Service: Blind as the Proverbial Bat

One story which has appeared on our pages in the past is the continuing battle of Azure owners in their quest to have the loan agreements brokered by Azure sales staff cancelled.

As we have already published, Barclays Partner Finance has begun refunding and cancelling these loan agreements, and many have already received their payments. But there is now a problem with loan agreements involving VFL or Vacation Finance Ltd. The reason, there is no evidence of “misrepresentation or unfair relationship”.

It appears that the Financial Ombudsman Service (funded by the FCA) has continued with its policy of rejecting consumer claims and siding with the company. It would appear they have learned nothing from the fight over the BPF loan agreements, and have not taken notice of why BPF decided to act as they have.

The fact the Azure product was totally missold, with loan agreements handed out without any proper checks to verify affordability at the very least, BPF seem to have accepted there was something untoward and acted accordingly.

During all this, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Ombudsman Service began finding for the consumer as well, but now with VFL loan agreements, the FOS has gone back to normal.

We can only speculate that the “investigators” as they like to call themselves, are not the same ones as those who have been dealing with BPF. It would once again appear they have no idea what they are doing, they are out of their depth with not a clue as to what timeshare is.

This has been a serious problem with the FOS and the FCA, they view timeshare purchases the same as any other purchase, which it is most definitely not. No other industry demands that you purchase on the day after several hours of high-pressure sales. No other product guarantees acceptance of a loan agreement upwards of £20,000, brokered by the sales staff, and on the day.

What makes this all the more baffling as far as the FOS decisions are concerned is the company itself Vacation Finance Ltd, Company number 09726642. It is when you look at the list of named directors, past & present that it really becomes clear the FOS hasn’t a clue.

In one answer to the misrepresentation issue, the investigator is “not convinced” there was no misrepresentation “given everything” he knew about this case. He went on to say the consumer had “not described the conversation and circumstances surrounding the “alleged” representations in detail”.

For heaven’s sake, what more proof does he need with the hundreds of complaints claiming the same thing?

We now move on to what we consider the most important point of all, “Unfair Relationship”.

According to his definition, there was no “unfair relationship” between the consumer and the company VFL. Under normal circumstances, we would agree, but this is timeshare and not all that it seems.

AIT believes that there is an unfair relationship, the reason is who is behind the company Vacation Finance Limited.

The link below will show who the Directors are, the following link is to Company House and the Directors list.

As you can see it is comprised of employees of all the major companies involved with the Limora Group of which Azure is also a part. The most significant members are Diana Aitchison, linked to many other companies, Mark Cushway, CEO of Resort Properties/Silverpoint and last of all our old friend Kwang Boon Sim.

Kwang Boon Sim was the mastermind behind all the Limora Group finances, he was the “Financial Guru” for the late Robert “Bob” Trotta, that story can be found in our serialised section.

Given this amount of information that is readily available, which the FOS has also been given on numerous occasions, how they cannot see that something very untoward has been going on is unbelievable. This company was set up by the very people behind the Silverpoint and Azure timeshare “investment” frauds, so are the FOS sanctioning a continuation by “legalising” the loan agreements?

This does go to show the FOS is not fit for purpose, their “investigators” do not have a clue about what they are dealing with, it is not ignorance, it is laziness. Don’t bother digging for the truth, just close the case as quickly as possible, it looks good on the figures.

It looks like those Azure clients with loans through VFL are going to be in for the long haul, that is unless the FOS has a very close look at this company and its connections to criminal investigations in Spain and elsewhere. We will keep you posted on any further developments.

We hope you all had a good weekend, Baby Dog had a good run around and nicked my place on the sofa for the Seville Barcelona game, I didn’t have the heart to move him.



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