Financial services and estate agent group Countrywide Assured marked its interim results with news th...
Countrywide's managing director Harry Hill said its reason for quitting endowments was twofold - a lack of demand from homebuyers following the product's adverse publicity in recent years, and because the expense of training staff to comply with regulatory details for the shrinking interest in the product was deemed to be a waste of company resources.
Hill said there is no plan to replace the endowment product with any other type of investment product and that he didn't envisage the decision would make any difference to staffing levels.
Operating profit for the six-month period fell to £34.8m equal to 7.5p per share from £47.1m or 11.5p a year ago. Countrywide opted to leave the dividend at 4.5p per share.
The slowdown in demand for endowment mortgages resulted in a £400,000 loss having contributed a £8.2m in revenue in 1999.
Countrywide had hoped to find a buyer after the disastrous free-fall in customers wanting an endowment.
It struggled to do so, said Hill, because of its reliance on endowments, traditionally the bedrock of its business.
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