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ACF Car Finance to become sub-prime finance leader

Chester-based ACF Car Finance expects to become the UK’s leading sub-prime finance provider following the decision of struggling lender Cattles to shut its retail car division.

Around 130 jobs will be lost at Welcome Car Finance. Cattles, which estimates the cost of the closure at £5 million, has suspended all lending to new customers and announced 1,000 job cuts.

Norman Beaumont, ACF sales and marketing director, said: “We will obviously be seizing this opportunity, but with a heavy heart because former colleagues will lose their jobs. ”

Shares in Cattles were suspended after the group announced it would be unable to publish its accounts as scheduled.
Welcome sold used cars in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, Dunstable, Isleworth and Maidstone.

A Cattles statement said: “Management is working closely with its debt providers to sustain their support for action to stabilise its financial position. The closure of Welcome Car Finance is another step aimed at reducing costs, preserving liquidity and reshaping the group.” 

Cattles is under pressure because of an investigation into the misreporting of its bad loan provisions. It is likely to have write-downs of up to £850 million.

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