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19 Feb, 2008

Robert Thickett
Date: 19-Feb-2008

Platform has revealed that it is set to make up to 65 members of staff redundant on the back of significant changes to the structure of its business.
It says the combination of difficult market conditions and a significant reduction in business volumes has led it to today's decision to cut its workforce.

Job losses will be predominently in Platform's marketing and sales departments and the 65 job losses will be out of current head count of 304 at the lender.

Its sales team will be restructured to better support its customers and a new proposition department will be created combining the functions of marketing, product development and e-commerce.

It will also be forming a lending services department which will consist of a mortgage processing team and a service management function.

All proposed structural changes are subject to a period of consultation with employee representatives.

The lender says the aim is to ensure it remains competitive during the current market turmoil.

The planned changes follow a thorough assessment of Platform's business model and associated organisational structure.

As a result, Platform will focus on both its packager partners and direct customers whose values, ethics and long term objectives are aligned with its own.

It says this approach will ensure it maintains the right balance between prime, sub-prime, buy to let and self-cert lending to achieve its targets.

David Tweedy, managing director at Platform, says: "As one of the longest established businesses in this market and, as part of the Britannia Group, Platform places a great deal of value on its people.

"We initially took the stance that we would wait until the market stabilised before taking any action but unfortunately, owing to worsening market conditions, we are forced to re-assess the situation.

"We have been able to keep the number of job cuts to a minimum through strict controls on recruitment throughout 2007 and by utilising a new groupwide redeployment process.

"The impact is much less than we are seeing with most of our competitors but nonetheless, it is likely that up to 65 colleagues from a total headcount of 305 will lose their jobs.

He adds: "I am personally saddened by the need to make people redundant but it is the right thing for us to do at this time to secure the future of the business and ensure that we are in a good position to react to any changes in the market when they occur.

"Platform remains a hugely ambitious organisation and its focus on delivering the group strategy remains the same. With the ongoing support of its parent Britannia, Platform continues to be fully committed to the UK intermediary mortgage market."

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