Market Overview

FTC Accuses LendingClub Of Deceptive Practices

FTC Accuses LendingClub Of Deceptive Practices

The Federal Trade Commission has sued LendingClub Corp (NYSE: LC), accusing the online lender of deceiving clients with hidden fees, withdrawing double payments from client accounts and continuing to charge borrowers even after they paid off loans.

The lawsuit alleges LendingClub failed to confirm consumers' acknowledgement of its information-sharing policy; falsely told loan applicants their loans were investor-backed to delay pursuits of loans elsewhere; and falsely and outspokenly promised loans with "no hidden fees."

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday accuses the firm of ultimately causing “substantial injury to consumers."

Why It’s Important

FTC lawsuits historically pressure share prices, and this particular report inspired a 7-percent mid-day sell-off.

So far, no Street authorities have commented on the case and whether it affects the bull-leaning consensus. The Buy-Hold ratio for LendingClub remains 6-10, and no analysts have Sell ratings on the stock.

Several companies in the lending space will be on hand at the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards next month. These fintech companies look to disrupt the current model, and this event is a chance to showcase the leading minds and disruptors in financial technology.

What’s Next

The FTC said it's intent on ending LendingClub's practices.

“Stopping this kind of conduct will help consumers make informed choices about loan offers," Reilly Dolan, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. 

LendingClub's stock closed at $2.77, down 15 percent.

“We support the important role that the FTC plays in encouraging appropriate standards and best practices," LendingClub said in a statement. "In this case, we believe the FTC is wrong, and are very disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership...The FTC’s allegations cannot be reconciled with this longstanding record of consumer satisfaction that’s reflected in every available objective metric.”

Related Links:

LendingClub's Investor Day Optimism Overshadowed By Modest Guidance

The 3 Debates Around Investing In LendingClub

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