Yorkshire house builder Persimmon launches independent business review

Persimmon has launched a review of its house quality and customer care functions as the property firm attempts to move on from a controversy over executive pay.

A library image of a Persimmon Homes site in Lancashire. Picture: JPI Media
A library image of a Persimmon Homes site in Lancashire. Picture: JPI Media

The blue chip company said on Friday that it has commissioned Barrister Stephanie Barwise of Aktin Chambers to carry out an “independent review” of the business.

“Persimmon is committed to listening carefully and changing rapidly as we seek to improve our reputation among the key stakeholders in the business.

“Our objective is clear: we must ensure that all our customers are provided with the care, service and high quality homes that they rightfully expect,” said chair Roger Devlin.

Britain’s biggest housebuilder, Persimmon has been under increasing pressure from buyers and the Government to increase the quality of new homes, and last month said it would allow buyers to withhold payment until faults had been rectified.

The company has also been criticised for paying big bonuses to senior executives and enjoying a substantial rise in profit on the back of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, while doing little to improve the quality of the homes it constructs.

In particular, Persimmon has come under pressure over former chief executive Jeff Fairburn’s circa £85 million pay package.

The review is expected to be completed and presented in the final quarter of 2019.

Areas to be examined include Persimmon’s customer care approach and culture, speed in response to issues, construction inspection regime and advertising protocols.

“An independent review is an important exercise which will establish whether the many changes we are making are going far enough and fast enough for the benefit of both our customers and our wider stakeholders in the business,” Mr Devlin added.