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

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - CHRIS KELSEY chris.kelsey@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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