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Moneysupermarket faces £7m hit as Barclays pulls second charge loans

Moneysupermarket.com has warned that the decision by Barclays to cease new second charge business will hit its own sales by around £7m.

In a statement issued today it says it will have a negative impact on its full year EBITDA of up to £5m.

The price comparison site says it will attempt to mitigate the impact by sourcing capacity elsewhere by reviewing costs and by reducing loans advertising spend.

Chief executive Simon Nixon says: “In our pre-close update we warned that trading in the loans and mortgages sector was ‘extremely challenging’. This is evidenced today by the withdrawal of Barclays’ main secured loan brand, First Plus, from the market.

“Over the coming days we will work to mitigate the impact of this on our business.”

Barclays’ staff were told the news in a meeting this morning. The firm says that around 130 people will be retained in Cardiff to look after existing customers, while 300 staff will be affected by this decision.

Today’s announcement has no impact on the current loans of Firstplus’ 128,000 customers.

Firstplus managing director Neil Radley says: “In the past year we have tried a whole range of activities to develop our business but the market demand simply isn’t strong enough. We recognise this is a difficult time for our people and will be providing all those affected with support and assistance.”

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