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Amber consults 27 staff as it shuns new business

Amber Homeloans has laun-ched a consultation process with 27 workers following its decision to stop writing new business.

Mike Perry, director of sales and marketing at Amber, says he has started the process with the staff concerned. He hopes it will lead to their redeployment in Skipton Group, Amber’s parent business.

Perry says the move is a result of Amber’s back book exceeding its £1bn lending cap. The back book currently totals £1.6bn.

Until now, the lender has been able to stay below its cap by selling excess business to other lenders on the securitisation market.

But since this market has stalled, Amber has been forced to discontinue new business.

Perry says: “This is obviously a sad time for the company. I’ve been at Amber since it began and we’ve generated profits of more than £60m.”

The lender anticipates returning to the market when the liquidity crisis settles down, although Perry says it doesn’t expect this to happen until Q32009 at the earliest.

The changes at Amber come just months after it announced it was slashing around 70 pack- agers from its panel. The lender claimed they had not been submitting enough business.

Last November, Amber announced that the packagers concerned had not met the minimum targets it had set earlier in the year.

The packager cull came as Amber announced that October had been a record month, with around 20% more applications received than in any other month in its history.

Meanwhile, Gordon Jolly has stepped down as managing director of Amber to become general manager of cred- it and lending on the Skipton Group’s operational board.

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