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Youtravel.com reviews ties with E-Clear

Youtravel.com has said it is “reviewing” its involvement with under-fire credit card processing company E-Clear.


The accommodation-only provider is a client of E-Clear, the firm which is allegedly withholding money from failed Scottish airline and operator Globespan. 


E-Clear began delaying payments to youtravel.com in February 2009 and ceased making payments in December 2009.


Youtravel.com founder John Kent told Travel Weekly that the current debt with E-Clear stands at £150,000 and that at one point last summer it was £250,000.


He said: “Sometimes we chased after them and after a big fight they gave us some money, but we haven’t received a penny for three to four months now.”


Kent said youtravel.com has used E-Clear to process payments since the company was first established in 2006 because its shareholder Barclays was not able to offer merchant facilities for other currencies. When he read about the £35 million Globespan debt, he was “shocked”, he added.


He said: “When Globespan was owed one or two million, why didn’t they make a big fuss then?”


Kent said he was surprised to learn that E-Clear’s status as an intermediary means it is not directly regulated in the UK.


Youtravel.com is backing Globespan administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their bid to have E-Clear forced into administration.


E-Clear faced a winding-up order at the High Court today in London brought by PwC. It has been given a week to provide evidence that is holding £35 million of funds from Globespan, some of which should have been paid back to the airline.


Youtravel.com sales and marketing director Paul Riches said: “We are a customer of E-Clear and are currently reviewing this situation.”


For more information on E-Clear go to travelweekly.co.uk/eclear

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