Tom Keighley

Member Article

UKAR close 700-strong Newcastle office

UKAR, the firm that manages the closed mortgage book of Northern Rock is to shut its Newcastle office, which employs 700 people.

The company plans to move most of the staff from its Gosforth operation to Sunderland and West Yorkshire, citing cost-efficiencies as the motivating factor behind the change.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said: “The news that UKAR is to shut down its site in Gosforth, Newcastle is devastating news for the 700 staff based there.

“Just last month the region had the great news that Virgin Money would commit to the Northern Rock site in the north east.

“This much needed boost has been short lived. There is a need for urgent action to support the financial services sector of the region.”

UKAR was established in 2010 to deal with the closed mortgage books of Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock (Asset Management).

It operates across sites in Newcastle, Doxford Park, Sunderland and Bingley, West Yorkshire.

Chief Executive of UKAR, Richard Banks said, “Our job is to manage the wind down of the mortgage books.

“By the end of 2013 we expect the number of mortgages to have reduced by 25% since UKAR was established. As a consequence, we will need fewer people and it will no longer be cost effective to run the business from three sites.

“Our duty is to deliver value for money for our owner, the UK taxpayer. The loss of some jobs is regrettable but we will work hard with colleagues and the union to relocate people where possible and offer support to those colleagues affected.”

In a written statement, UKAR said it was acting to “maximise value to the taxpayer.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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