Amigo notes the statement made by James Benamor on social media on the evening of 4 March 2020.
Mr Benamor’s statement contains several material inaccuracies and is fundamentally incorrect in a number of respects. Amigo does not accept Mr Benamor’s account of events. Amigo remains fully committed to fulfilling all of its legal and regulatory obligations, and will continue to engage with regulators in an appropriate and constructive manner. Amigo confirms that the contents of the announcement of its Q3 results on 27 February 2020 remains accurate at this point in time, including in relation to the levels of provisioning.
- • Mr Benamor inaccurately states that he voted against the formal sale process. The Amigo Board, including Mr Benamor, unanimously approved the announcement of the strategic review and formal sale process on 27 January 2020. The formal sale process was initiated as a direct consequence of Mr Benamor notifying Amigo that Richmond Group (Mr Benamor’s holding vehicle) was a willing seller of its shares in Amigo, which would place Amigo into an offer period in accordance with the Takeover Code.
- Mr Benamor inaccurately states that the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) authorised Amigo in 2017. Amigo was authorised by the FCA in 2016.
- Amigo rejects Mr Benamor’s binary analysis that Amigo either must take the Financial Ombudsman Service (the “FOS”) to a judicial review or that it has a systemic problem with its loan book. The Company monitors its loan book regularly and has concluded, as part of its Q3 review process, that it does not have a systemic problem. In the Company’s Q3 results, it announced a £18.7m provision. This provision relates to both the estimated costs of customer complaints received up to 31 December 2019 and the projected costs of potential future complaints on certain higher risk historic loans. The Q3 results were unanimously approved by the Amigo Board, including Mr Benamor.
- While it is clear that the FOS’ approach evolved during 2019, it is not the case that the FOS informed Amigo of a specific change in its approach during spring 2019 as Mr Benamor suggests. The FOS continues to determine complaints on a case-by-case basis and Amigo responds accordingly.
- Amigo approaches its market and stakeholder communications in a transparent and open manner. Amigo carefully monitors its regulatory disclosure obligations, seeking external advice where appropriate. The formal sale process does not change Amigo’s ongoing disclosure obligations with which it is continuing to comply.
- Whilst Amigo disagrees with a number of Mr Benamor’s statements, it is in total agreement that Amigo provides a real proposition for customers who want a future of financial inclusion. Amigo offers a product that makes a real difference to the lives of its borrowers, many of whom cannot access credit from mainstream providers.
Notwithstanding the potential disruption to the Company’s formal sale process and strategic review, the Company intends to continue with the process. The Company will update the market on this in due course.