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Lookers Delays Annual Results Due to Potential Fraud Investigation

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Car lease deals and PCPs look set to be the next big mis-selling scandal. The recent investigation launched against car retailer Lookers confirms this, with their sales processes currently being scrutinised by the FCA.

Here’s more information about the Lookers situation, and the implications for their customers.

What is Lookers?

Lookers PLC are one of the UK’s largest vehicle retailers. They sell cars, vans and more through a number of dealerships across the country, and offer a wide range of aftersales services. However, their profits dropped significantly recently (from £67.3m to just £20m). This was largely due to the investigations regarding the way the company sold car loans to consumers.

As it stands, Lookers have yet to publish their annual results, and investor / customer confidence is low.

Why the delay in publishing the results?

Lookers made the following statement regarding the delay of their annual results:

“In the final stages of preparing its results for the financial year…/… the company has identified potentially fraudulent transactions in one of its operating divisions.” (1)

As such, the company must now undergo a thorough investigation by the FCA, but have stated that they will “comply with them in any way they see fit.” The investigation is specifically focusing on the way car loans were sold between January 1st 2016 and June 13th 2019.

Why is this bad news?

This is problematic for customers who took out a car loan with Lookers from 2016 onwards, as there’s a chance that they were mis-sold to.

At present, there’s still some ambiguity as to who is affected, because the company haven’t revealed which of its divisions are being investigated for fraudulent practices.

Why Lookers?

Experts suggest that the Lookers investigation marks the start of a major crack-down on car-loan and PCP mis-selling. A source linked to the company commented that Lookers “will undoubtedly bear the brunt of the impact by virtue of being first, but they might equally be the first to put it behind them.” (2)

As yet, the FCA hasn’t disclosed any major findings, but as the investigation is still ongoing, it’s too early to say whether Lookers are in the clear or not.

What does this mean for Lookers’ customers?

The FCA are specifically examining Lookers’ sale practices (fraud and mis-selling). That means, if you’ve got a car loan with the company, you may have been mis-sold to. While this may be alarming, the good news is that you could have a solid case for seeking compensation.

Here are some signs that you might have been a victim of mis-selling:

-    The loan wasn’t explained properly to you.
-    You weren’t informed about hidden fees or extra costs.
-    You were sold additional products that were of no benefit to you.
-    The risks involved weren’t explained properly.
-    You weren’t provided with a full range of options.

What to do if you’ve been mis-sold to?

If think you may have been mis-sold your car loan and want to discuss this further, get in touch with Goodwin Barrett today. Our team of experts will investigate further, to find out if you’re in a position to receive financial compensation.

To learn more, contact us on 0808 163 1659 or email enquiries@goodwinbarrett.co.uk.

(1) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/10/lookers-delays-annual-results-fraud-investigation-car-dealership
(2) https://www.am-online.com/news/latest-news/2019/07/16/is-fca-s-lookers-investigation-a-sign-regulator-is-getting-tough

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