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N&P axes 36 jobs including finance director

Norwich & Peterborough is cutting 36 jobs from its head office in a move which will see finance director Richard Wells leave the building society.

The lender says it has been reviewing its costs and focussing on reducing overheads over the summer.

As a result of this review a total of 36 jobs will be cut from N&P’s head office, with Wells’ role the most senior position that has been affected.

A spokeswoman for N&P says that the building society has until now kept the roles of finance and risk director separate, which she says is an unusual structure for a society of N&P’s size.

N&P has now decided to create the merged position of finance and risk director, with Wells’ responsibilities absorbed into the role.

Jeff Pritchard, currently the risk director at N&P, will take on the new finance and risk director role.

Wells will stay on with the society to ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities.

The remaining 35 job losses will be made across the society, including some senior roles as well as more junior positions.

Wells was notified of the decision on September 18, with other affected employees notified on October 5.

Employees are now working through a consultation period.

A spokeswoman for N&P says: “N&P has commenced a review of its operating costs and overheads.

“This is necessary because of the tough trading conditions in the funding markets that are affecting the entire financial services sector, not just N&P.

“The higher cost of retail funding, reduction in funding from wholesale counterparties, reduced yield from liquid assets and historically low LIBOR and base rates are all contributing to these exceptional times.

“The society is financially sound, with no history of ‘toxic’ lending, as evidenced by very low arrears compared to the industry’s average.

“However, the cost of funding caused by the collapse of the money markets, shows no sign of letting up and taking costs out of the business has become unavoidable.”

The news of the job losses follows the society’s downgrade by Fitch earlier this week.

Fitch says it took the ratings action as it believes that earnings at the lender will be hampered by high costs.

But at the same time Fitch also awarded N&P a ‘stable outlook’ status, said that liquidity at the society was ‘good’ and noted that the lender continues to be able to raise substantial deposits.


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