LONDON – Debt Free Direct Group PLC yesterday reported a 128 percent increase in half-yearly pre-tax profits to £4.26 million. Its turnover for the six months ending October 32 was up 91 percent to £12.2 million.
The company also revealed that it had arranged for 536 IVAs per month over the last six months. This figure was up from 266 IVAs per month at the same time a year ago.
Meanwhile Debt Free said that it was preparing a list of misleading advertisements by its rivals and will be submitting the same to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Derek Oakley, insolvency director at Debt Free Direct (DFD), said that competitors were exaggerating the level of debts that could be written off.
Accuma, Spectrum and W3 Debt Solutions are some of the companies named in the dossier. ASA said that it would be looking into the report before deciding whether a full inquiry was needed. Mr Oakley said that the ASA must take swift action and force the firms to withdraw the misleading ads.
“Regulation hasn’t caught up with the reality of the growth in IVAs,” Mr Oakley said. The shadow chancellor, George Osborne has accused the debt industry of leading the consumers to believe that some debts can be easily dodged.
“I am concerned that people may be being encouraged by unscrupulous IVA companies to commit to IVAs, even where this may not be the right course of action … Firm action must be taken against any IVA company found to be issuing false or misleading advice,” Osborne added.