Argos on the lookout for secured partner

Argos has confirmed it is on the lookout for potential partners to offer secured loans through its Argos Homeowner Loan brand.

Nemo and Central Trust are thought to be some of the names in the frame for the partnership, along with four other master brokers.

Argos did offer the loans through FirstPlus until it pulled out of the secured loan market in August.

A spokeswoman for Home Retail Group, the parent company of Argos, says: “HRG has operated in the secured loans sector, on a referral basis only, over the past 18 months, through FirstPlus, a division of Barclays Bank. FirstPlus has now given us notice that they are withdrawing from this market.

“We have therefore been considering our position with regard to secured loans, given the current economic climate. As part of this we have embarked on a tender process in order to understand who might be the most appropriate partners should we decide to re-enter the market.

“No decision has currently been made on whether we will re-enter the market and therefore no selection of a partner has taken place.

“Arrangements have been put in place to ensure appropriate continuity for existing customers who have taken out loans with FirstPlus.”