A LEADING payday lender based in Bournemouth has gone into administration.

PiggyBank, the trading name of DJS (UK) Limited, provided short-term loans of up to £1,500 online at 0.8 per cent interest per day.

The company was one of the UK’s 10 biggest payday lenders and had 57 staff at Parkway House, Avenue Road, as of mid-2018. Earlier this year, it featured in the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Best Companies to Work For.

But it was suspended from lending between July and September last year after the Financial Conduct Authority raised concerns that its affordability checks were not good enough.

The company’s interest rate of 0.8 per cent a day is equivalent to an annual percentage rate (APR) of 1,270 per cent, although it stressed that “with a short term loan, you’d never pay back more than double what you borrow, and it’s usually much less”.

In its latest set of accounts, for the year ending July 31, 2018, DJS (UK) Limited reported that the business had “gone from strength to strength to become one of the fastest growing online, high-cost short-term loan products in the UK”.

Turnover had risen 68 per cent to £19.5million and pre-tax profit was up 310 per cent to £4.43m.

Its 126,634 loans amounted to £43.3m, up 40 per cent.

An official statement on Tuesday said Shane Biddlecombe and Gordon Johnston of HJS Recovery in Southampton had been appointed joint administrators of DJS (UK) Ltd on December 5. It said new lending had stopped but existing borrowers should continue making payments.

Anyone who is approached to make payment to a different bank account has been warned to inform the lender’s customer service team, which is staying on to deal with queries.

A statement said: “It is anticipated that the orderly wind down of the company’s business may, if applicable, include a sale of the assets of the company. The joint administrators will also commence work to identify all creditors of the company in accordance with their statutory duties and obligations.”

It added: “Those customers with complaints (whether on grounds of affordability or other) should continue to approach the company in administration. Any such claim will be treated as an unsecured creditor claim.”

The company remains regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which will continue to supervise the joint administrators’ activities throughout the administration process.

Earlier this year, DJS (UK) won in four categories at the 2019 Global Business Excellence Awards.

When the company came 73rd in the Sunday Times’ top 100 companies to work for, chief executive Dan Ware said: “Last year our company grew more than 60 per cent, we moved to a new, office in central Bournemouth with an extra 7,000 square feet of space and grew our workforce by 44 per cent.

“It’s so important to celebrate companies that are working hard to make a difference, inspire their staff, and strive to be the best in their industry.”

The payday loan market has been under squeeze from the regulator. One of its big players, Wonga, collapsed in 2018. The biggest lender, CashEuroNet, took its QuickQuid and On Stride brands off the market in October.

Any complaints about DJS (UK) should go to complaints@piggy-bank.co.uk The PiggyBank customer service team can be contacted on help@piggy-bank.co.uk or 0800 2061560.