MCCB must act

An open letter to the MCCB

I joined an operation on a franchise basis in 2001 but in June of this year the business was put into administration. As a consequence of this order, I am owed, along with a large number of others, monies for completed procuration fees, insurance fees and a proportionate loss of franchise fees.

Prior to the order being granted, the company sent refund valuation cheques to clients that were later returned by the banks on a refer-to-drawer basis. I had one such case myself but can cite a number of colleagues who had similar experiences. The company blamed this for the way one of the big four banking groups managed their account.

Part of the franchise fee paid was for CeMAP examinations yet some colleagues were told the cheques had bounced when booking their CeMAP exams.

The company somehow managed to take an inordinate amount of time to bring mortgage applications to completion stages. The company took franchise fees for at least one applicant who has, to this day, not been issued with a contract.

The Advertising Standards Agency cautioned the company for their style of advertising, which was deemed to be “misleading”. They are now advertising again under a training banner.

The average franchise fee was in the region of £10,000 plus and over a 18-month period recruited, so they claimed, around 200 or so people – which amounts to a considerable amount of money. Questions must surely be asked as to where this money was spent and also how.

I also understand that, during this time, the company accumulated a number of CCJs. Clearly I am not in a position to confirm this although it will be a matter of public record.

I was informed by staff at the premises that their salary cheques were often late or indeed in some cases actually bounced on presentation at the banks concerned. Again, I am not in a position to confirm this but believe it to be true.

Finally, with the number of franchisees at around the 200 mark, you may wish to check your records as again, I am advised but cannot confirm, that only 50 or so were actually registered with the MCCB.

When I joined the company and became involved in this dynamic industry I was under the impression that it was well-regulated and that to obtain MCCB recognition, was both an honour and a privilege. Yet it would appear that the directors involved are able to mis-manage one business and yet are allowed by your office to operate quite freely in another.

A number of my colleagues have also written to your organisation and we are simply asking that the actions of the directors be investigated more thoroughly.

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