CPP, in York, looks to grow business

The Northern Echo: The headquarters of CPP in York The headquarters of CPP in York

THE boss of a credit card insurer at the centre of a £1.3bn mis-selling scandal says the firm is taking steps to rebuild its reputation.

Brent Escott, chief executive of CPP, based in York, says it is working hard to turn losses of £20m into growth.

The company was previously fined £10.5m by the Financial Services Authority after being found to have given misleading and unclear information about credit card and identity theft insurance.

The firm, which employs 550 workers in York, last year agreed a compensation deal in which seven million customers could share up to £1.3bn.

Mr Escott said it was putting right what went wrong under previous management.

He said: “CPP very clearly had a business in York that was very successful and grew at a rapid rate.

“The rate of growth did mean that the controls and some of the functions weren’t given as much attention as they should have been.

“One of the consequences of that was the difficulties with the regulator, and like most cases when things go wrong, it is usually down to management.

“It is not the people that were employed by CPP, who were very loyal and worked across the business, it is down to the culture and the framework created by the management style.

“One of the things CPP did was it had a very aggressive selling culture.

“It is that that ultimately led to the mis-selling.

“We are changing the company to be customer focused and customer orientated.

“Selling is short-term and looking after the customer long-term is better for the business and better for the customer.”

Mr Escott said he was hopeful the company would strengthen its position in 2014.

He added: “The good news is there is a future; it may be a bit unclear and difficult, but as an organisation we have made huge steps forward in terms of what we need to be doing.

“We want to see a business that is growing and thriving, not a business that is struggling along, and we are determined to rebuild the business and get it to growth again.”

Last year, CPP's founder, Hamish Ogston, launched a colourful tirade against City regulators who announced the compensation package.

He described the £1.3bn figure as b******s and a “ridiculous figure”, adding: “There's never been a compensation redress scheme in history where it's been 100 per cent (success rate).”

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