19 staff lose their jobs, another 132 at risk as firm faces problems Buy As You View has been facing difficulties and earlier this year made 15 workers redundant
MORE than 100 South Wales jobs are under threat after the parent company of Buy As You View went into administration.
Nineteen staff in Bridgend lost their jobs last Friday and another 132 workers in the town are at risk of redundancy.
It is the latest employment blow for South Wales.
In June, Tesco announced it will close its Cardiff call centre with the loss of 1,100 jobs, while Barclays announced 180 job losses in Llanishen in March.
Dunraven Finance, which trades as Buy As You View (BAYV) and supplies electrical appliances to tens of thousands of Welsh homes on a rent-to-own basis, has been facing difficulties for several months and earlier this year made 15 workers redundant.
The administration could put 226 jobs in total – both at Bridgend and across the firm’s UK operation – at risk of redundancy, with administrators EY confirming that 41 people in total lost their jobs yesterday.
The news comes in the wake of what administrators called “significant losses”.
The firm has been facing problems following the introduction of stricter lending controls by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Nineteen of the redundancies are at the Bridgend head office. The total workforce at Bridgend is 151.
BAYV operates in the rent-to-own sector, providing around 40,000 customers with a range of TVs, electrical products, household appliances and furniture through an online store model, with the cost spread over weekly payments.
It has around 267 employees and, as well as its Bridgend HQ, has five smaller offices and distribution hubs at Coventry, Gateshead, Livingston, Rotherham and St Helens.
In line with all companies in the sector, BAYV is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Last year the FCA ordered it to pay customers a total of almost £1m compensation for what the regulator termed unfair treatment.
Among the FCA’s concerns about the business, which at one time employed 700 people, were the use of payment meters to restrict a customer’s access to the TV when payments were not received on time.
It also raised concerns about how clearly fees were set out to customers as well as the treatment of customers in arrears.
As a result, BAYV made changes to the way it uses payment meters and revised the way it operates, including no longer applying certain charges and putting a notice period in place before customers’ TV access is restricted.
In a statement, EY said: “Over the last year, BAYV has sought to respond to a period of significant market and regulatory change in the sector and has undertaken a substantial restructuring of its business model and operations.
“This included moving to an online sales model and focusing on core parts of the UK where the Buy As You View brand is bestknown and has a loyal customer base.
“However, despite attempts to adjust its cost base to a more sustainable basis, the business has continued to incur significant losses.
“Over recent months a number of further steps have been pursued by BAYV to restructure the business and to explore sale options, however ultimately this has not proven successful.
“As a result the directors of BAYV concluded reluctantly that they should place the company into administration to allow options to be assessed by the joint administrators and to enable further restructuring to be undertaken.
“As a result, we have taken the difficult decision to make 41 people redundant and are now working with the company’s remaining 226 employees to continue to manage the business.”
BAYV was founded in Pontypridd in 1972. By 2010 the company claimed to have as many 100,000 customers.
The administrator said that the company would continue to support existing customers and products, and that customers should continue to pay for their appliances in the usual way.
Workers at Buy As You View face losing their jobs after the firm’s parent company went into administration