CPP chairman to step down

CPP chief executive Brent Escott
CPP chief executive Brent Escott
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The chairman of troubled card protection firm CPP Group has announced plans to step down after just seven months in the role.

Duncan McIntyre took on the role in January 2014 after joining the CPP board in 2011. The York-based firm said it had started the search for a new group chairman.

CPP was fined £10.5m in November 2012 after regulators found it gave misleading and unclear information about credit card and identity theft insur-ance. The mis-selling scandal ran from 2005 to 2011, although only a proportion of the policies sold were arranged directly through CPP.

Many customers were sent new bank cards which they had to activate by going through a CPP call centre, where they were offered insurance.

They were persuaded to spend £30 a year to insure their card, or around £80 for an identity protection policy - despite many already having cover provided by their bank or credit card firm. A scheme of arrangement, designed to address the fall-out from the mis-selling scandal, closes today.

Yesterday, the firm said revenue for the six months to June 30, fell from £99.7m to £58.7m. CPP said its underlying operating performance from continuing operations is now at breakeven from a £3.3m loss in the first six months of 2013, although the loss for the period from continuing and discontinued operations was £2.7m. In relation to its ongoing restructure, CPP said management action to reduce its cost base was on track and expected to realise annualised cost savings of approximately £15m. Plans to restructure the balance sheet and determine the appropriate UK listing have also progressed and CPP is evaluating options to strengthen its reduced capital position to support the future development of the business.

Payments made up to August 28 totalled £27.9m. The total cost provided for customer redress and associated costs remains unchanged at £69.8m and the amount of this provision remaining at June 30 is £14m, which is to meet further scheme redress payments and other redress and associated costs.

Brent Escott, the company’s chief executive, said: “We have continued to move forward on our journey to ‘rebuild, improve, modernise and evolve’ the group. As a result of the prudent steps that we are taking and on-going focus on costs, we have continued to stabilise the business. Managing change and rebuilding a business is a substantial task and much work remains as we complete the required actions to reshape the organisation.”

Mr Escott said the group welcomed the opportunity to move forward for the next phase of its development.