The chief executive of Kensington has stepped down with immediate effect as the sub-prime mortgage lender issued a profit warning, says the Daily Telegraph .
John Maltby is leaving after a review of the group's operations looks set to result in the company focusing more on the sub-prime mortgage market in the UK and Ireland.
The company said: "In light of this preliminary conclusion, John Maltby has decided that he will step down as group chief executive to pursue other career opportunities."
He has been replaced by Alison Hutchinson, the head of the company's mortgage business.
With increasing competition, Kensington is considering increasing sales of the portfolios of its mortgage assets which would improve the company's balance sheet, but this would come "at the expense of longer term profitability", Kensington said.
The company added: "The board believes that profits in later years are likely to be below current market estimates."
Kensington is continuing to hold discussions with a number of parties who have approached it about the possibility of launching a takeover bid but it warned there can be no certainty of an offer, says the paper.
ROYAL BANK of Scotland has sparked a fierce row with unions by threatening 14,000 staff with disciplinary action unless they open and have their salary paid into a current account with the group, reports the Times.
An RBS spokeswoman refused to rule out the possibility employees could ultimately face the sack.
In a letter to thousands of employees, Gordon Pell, chief executive of retail markets, tells staff he has “noticed” they are still having their salary paid into an account from outside the RBS Group.
He warns that if they fail to meet a deadline for switching from a rival: “I will be obliged to write directly to your line manager asking them to progress this matter according to the group’s disciplinary policy”.
Union leaders at Amicus claimed their helpline has been “jammed” with calls from angry staff furious over RBS’ tactics.
PRIVATE EQUITY groups are "not asset-strippers", a leading European Union official told UK MPs yesterday, reports the Scotsman.
The defence came as the trade body for private equity companies, which have taken over or are targeting a host of well-known British companies, including J Sainsbury, Boots and Birdseye, also rejected criticisms of the sector.
Charlie McCreevy, the European Commissioner with responsibility for private equity and hedge funds, told the House of Commons all party group for private equity and venture capital: "Of course asset disposals form part of many private equity firms' transformation plans for the businesses in which they invest.
"This gives rise to charges of 'asset stripping'. But one investor's asset sale is another investor's purchase. The potential of the asset doesn't disappear with its sale. Rather, the purchaser sees opportunities to generate better returns from the asset than the vendor."
The asset stripping rebuttal was a point also taken up yesterday by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
A spokesman for the BVCA said: "It's nonsense to suggest that it [private equity] is about asset stripping. It is about asset enhancement, building a business and adding value."
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