Certus seeks 195 redundancies following loss of loan servicing contracts

Irish loan specialist to close offices in Belfast, Cork and Limerick as Lloyds sells off more loans

 

Irish specialist loan-servicing group Certus is seeking 195 redundancies from its near 600-strong workforce in a bid to reshape the business following a reduction in client work.

Staff were informed of the move last week , and it is understood Certus will seek to implement the job cuts on a voluntary basis next year.

It also intends to close its offices in Belfast, Cork and Limerick next year, leaving it with just a base in Dublin.

The decision to resize Certus is the result of Lloyds Banking Group selling off more and more of its legacy loans in Ireland.

Businesses

Halifax

This week The Irish Times revealed that US private equity group Lone Star had appointed HML to manage a portfolio of about 4,000 residential mortgages that had been purchased from Lloyds.

The loans had a face value of about €1.1 billion. This and the wind down of other client work has precipitated the latest redundancies.

In April Certus announced that more than 200 roles would be made redundant, and it has closed offices in Galway, Sligo and Waterford this year.

Certus was an offshoot of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) when it was set up in January 2011.

It was led and staffed by many of that bank’s employees, and it took on the role of managing the Irish loan book for Lloyds following its exit from this market.

It has been involved in collections from customers and the management of debt arrears, and at its peak employed about 1,100 staff.

Lloyds has shrunk its loan portfolio in Ireland substantially over the past few years following the closure of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and Halifax.

At the end of 2010 the face value of its loan book here was £27.4 billion.

This has since reduced by more than half, and the British bank continues to reduce its exposure to this market.

The redundancies are being sought on a voluntary basis, with the company expected to engage with the union Unite.

The bulk of the job cuts are expected to take place in the first half of next year.

Severance

This mirrors previous redundancy packages.

In addition to Lloyds, Certus has held mandates with AIB, Permanent TSB and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

No comment on the redundancies was available from Certus.