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Charcol rebels redundant as branches axed

The three rebel John Charcol branch directors embroiledin a bitter dispute with the mortgage broker have been made redundant and their branches will close.

While Charcol says the decision was made amicably, the directors are considering taking further action, according to their legal representative Armstrong Neal partner Gareth Fatchett.

Charcol says the closureof branches in Leeds, Liverpool and Exeter are part of an ongoing review of the branch network.

The Stratford-upon-Avon branch will also close as a result of what Charcol terms “performance-related” issues, but it says it is committed to the remaining 10 branches. It is adamant the closures are unrelated to the integration with Bradford & Bingley.

Forty-four sales and administrative staff face an uncertain future. The company insists it can relocate sales staff within Bradford & Bingley but says support staff are less easy to move across due to a lack of “corresponding roles”.

The dispute began in June when three directors drafted in Armstrong Neal to put their fears of being sidelined by the integration of Charcol&#39s exclusive mortgage range into the B&B branch network.

The directors felt this could be a breach of contract, having spent years building the brand through the network only to see B&B selling in direct competition.

Fatchett says: “John Charcol says the branch directors are being made redundant because their businesses are not viable but you can draw your own conclusions from the fact their branches are being closed.”

John Charcol marketing manager Siobhan Hotten says: “It was felt this was the best way to take the business forward. The decision was reached amicably and it was not one taken lightly. The move was made totally separate from B&B, it was a John Charcol decision.”

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