One of the United Kingdom’s largest lending companies – Swift – has seen its chief executive officer leave his post with immediate effect. John Webster was a well-regarded stalwart of the financial industry but in recent years had come under increasing pressure from authorities and personal problems. It is the personal problems though that Webster has personally cited as being the reason for his departure, claiming that “my two year absence from the business meant that it wasn’t possible for me to carry on as CEO”.
Swift is one of the largest companies in the United Kingdom to offer both unsecured and secured loans, and they should have no problem recruiting someone else to step into Webster’s position. As the company has grown over the years, they have been able to offer more competitive wage packets to their senior staff, therefore meaning that they are an attractive prospect for many. It is thought though that Andrew Punch – currently the Operations Officer at Swift – is primed to take over the position.
So why did John Webster decide to step down from his position at Swift? Well, there are two reasons, with the first being that he had been absent from the company for the last two years anyway, due to personal reasons. This is obviously something that Webster and his family only know about, and I’m sure the decision has not been taken lightly in this respect.
The other reason though is more business oriented, and that is that Swift has been coming under an increasing amount of pressure from authorities when it comes to their working practices. As Swift mainly offers subprime lending, they are often lending money to those in society most at risk of defaulting on payments. Unlike secured loans, this means that debt can become a massive problem. This became an issue for Swift when the Office of Fair Trading claimed Swift was failing to check whether applicants could actually repay the loans that they had taken out – something that could lead to their license being revoked.
It wasn’t just the Office of Fair Trading investigating Swift though – they were also in trouble with the people at the FSA, due to the way that they handled people in arrears. Apparently, Swift have already resigned themselves to losing this case and have set aside a pot of over £9 million to cover any costs. When both of these investigations are added together, it is clear to see that Webster was under huge amounts of pressure – after all, the buck stops with him, and the company was not being portrayed in a good light! Whether this was due to his absence or due to decisions that he personally implemented, we shall never know…
Regardless of the reasons behind the departure of Webster from the company, Swift still look strong and will remain a major player in the lending industry. What the new CEO will bring to the role is a different matter though. Will Swift change focus and move towards the less controversial area of secured loans, will they keep offering subprime loans and clean up their practices, or will they carry on with exactly the same tactics, therefore risking more wrath from the financial authorities? Watch this space for any more news in the coming months.
Copyright © 2011
Choice-loans.co.uk offers homeowners secured loans. People in the UK can search to find the cheapest secured homeowners loans.