Amigo boss steps down as founder returns to drive lender’s turnaround

The boss of subprime lender Amigo has stepped down from the company after less than five months at the helm.

Chief executive Hamish Paton resigned from the company alongside chairman Stephan Wilcke after Amigo continued to flounder amid regulatory pressure.

The pair have left the business amid a battle for control, which has seen founder and largest shareholder James Benamor return to the company’s board as a non-executive director.

Mr Benamor owns around 61% of the business but stepped down as a director after its £1.3 billion stock market float in June last year.

In the year-and-a-half since, the firm has seen its shares plummet on the back of pressure from the financial regulator, the FCA, and the tough economic outlook.

Shares in the business are around 78% down on its IPO price last year, as the company was particularly impacted by a plunge in value in August after it said it would tighten credit check policies and reduce its focus on repeat customers to ease pressure from regulators.

The company offers guarantor loans to borrowers with bad credit histories, allowing friends or family members to act as guarantors if the customer is unable to pay their bill.

Mr Benamor will also be joined by Kelly Black, an executive at his investment vehicle Richmond Group, as a non-executive director.

The leadership changes also saw current chair of the remuneration committee Clare Salmon announce her intention to step down from the company.

Amigo said that the departure dates for each of its exiting board members will be confirmed in due course.

Mr Wilcke said: “It has been fascinating and gratifying to lead the board of Amigo.

“Clare and I will work with the board to ensure an orderly succession to take Amigo forward.

“I’d like to thank Hamish for working with the board in implementing necessary changes during a challenging period, and his continued commitment until his successor is found.”

Shares in the company jumped 6.9% to 64.8p after the announcement.

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