Together looks to cut 200 jobs

Together Financial Services Limited has launched an employee consultation process on proposals to reduce colleague numbers by around 200 people.

The Cheadle-based firm made the announcement in an update to the London Stock Exchange.

The 45-year-old specialist lender — which announced it had temporarily halted new loan applications across its product range on 24th March — stated that while it is cautiously increasing lending volumes, it is unlikely it will resume its pre Covid-19 activity levels for “some time”.

The update read: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact on economies across the globe and has created significant uncertainty around the nature and extent of any downturn. 

“Many economists are predicting a deep and sustained global recession and, combined with the planned exit from the government's furlough and mortgage payment deferral schemes at the end of October 2020, this is expected to have an impact on property activity, unemployment and economic growth within the UK.”

It confirmed that to ensure its cost base remains appropriate, it has launched an employee consultation process on proposals to reduce colleague numbers by around 200, reflecting the anticipated future shape of its business.

"While it remains too early to reliably estimate the full impact of Covid-19, we expect the remainder of 2020 and possibly 2021 to be challenging for most businesses,” said Gerald Grimes, group CEO designate at Together.

“Together entered the pandemic in a strong position and, as we move out of lockdown, we are taking the necessary steps to shape our business for the future: putting plans in place to mitigate any downside risks; ensuring our cost base is appropriate; and accelerating our transformation programmes to make us more efficient and further improve the experience for our customers.”

Together noted it is accelerating some of its modernisation and transformation programmes, such as further use of digitalisation and enhanced automation, to help improve the journey for customers.

“With the actions we are taking, we believe Together will emerge from the crisis well placed to support our customers and to play our part in supporting the UK's economic recovery," Gerald added.

The update noted that, throughout the pandemic, Together had supported customers who have found themselves in financial difficulty, by providing Covid-19-related mortgage payment holidays and other appropriate forbearance. 

It reported that payment deferrals peaked at around 22% of its group customers by value, with this level reducing to around 16% of group customers as of 16th July 2020.

On this date, Together successfully priced the latest and largest issuance in its residential mortgage backed securitisation (RMBS) programme, the £370m Together Asset Backed Securitisation 2020 - 1 PLC (TABS 4).

On completion of the TABS 4 transaction, Together’s facility headroom is expected to increase to around £770m.

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