Firstplus shuts up shop

09-07-2008

Firstplus shuts up shop
Barclaycard-owned lender Firstplus is to close to new business.

The firm – the UK's largest provider of secured loans – came to the fore with its adverts fronted by Carol Vorderman, but has now become the latest victim of the credit crunch with 300 job cuts in its Cardiff offices.

Some 130 staff will remain to cover existing customers.

The firm stated the decision would have no impact on the current loans of Firstplus’ 128,000 customers.

Neil Radley, managing director of Firstplus, said: “In the past year we have tried a whole range of activities to develop our business but the market demand simply isn’t strong enough.

"We recognise this is a difficult time for our people and will be providing all those affected with support and assistance.”

There are now just seven major players in the secured loan market – compared with 18 last year.

Graham Goddard, deputy general secretary of union Unite, stated he was "incensed" by the job losses.

"Whilst the union understand that the market conditions mean that the First Plus product is no-longer viable, we whole heartedly condemn the decision to run down the Cardiff site," he said.

“Unite are arguing that Barclays should replace the 300 jobs lost with work from other parts of the bank."




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