Holdstock v Endeavour - “Unfair Relationships” are still an issue

The recent decision by the Court of Appeal to award permission to appeal in Holdstock v Endeavour Personal Finance Limited may mean that its earlier decision in Harrison v Blackhorse is not the last word on the “unfair relationship” provisions (introduced by the Consumer Credit Act 2006) and in particular their application to PPI disputes.

At first glance, the facts in both cases are similar, with the trial judge in Holdstock v Endeavour making a clear finding that despite PPI mis-selling allegations (relating to the cost/non-disclosure of commission payment and duration of policy in comparison to the loan) – no unfair relationship arose between lender and borrower.

In view of the potential effect of “Harrison” on the PPI claims industry it is perhaps not surprising that strenuous efforts will be made to dilute its effect by seeking to argue a different set of facts can lead to a different result. In fact the Court of Appeal in “Harrison” did stress the narrow scope of the issues before it. Such attempts will be encouraged by the fact the Supreme Court did in “Harrison” grant permission to appeal (it did not proceed because the parties reached a compromise) – reflecting an acknowledgement perhaps that it is time the new “unfair relationship” provisions receive the highest judicial consideration.

In the immediate aftermath of “Harrison” creditors hoped it would result in most PPI mis-selling claims being discontinued or struck-out. Although no date has been set for the substantive appeal in Holdstock v Endeavour this latest development means they will probably have to wait a little longer.

 

For further information please contact Jeremy Bouchier (Solicitor & Chief Legal Officer).


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