Amigo Loans PLC (LON:AMGO) is facing a regulatory probe into its creditworthiness assessment process from November 2018, the FCA revealed today.
The guarantor loans provider added it had started its own legal proceeding against Richmond Group, the vehicle of founder James Benamor to stop him replacing the board with his own nominees.
Amigo said it had applied for a High Court injunction to stop Richmond voting its 61% stake in Amigo in favour of its nominees Sam Wells and Nick Makin.
The lender repeated that its current board is prepared to step down if the change is carried out by orderly succession, adding they have no interest in prolonging their appointment, but said Richmond Group is not abiding by a relationship agreement entered into in June 2018.
Stephan Wilcke, Amigo chairman, said: “The board has offered to leave and will do so, but it must be through an orderly process.
“We cannot risk the Amigo group’s ability either to conduct its FCA regulated activities or to continue as a London-listed company operating in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code.
“Amigo is a publicly listed, regulated company, not a wholly-owned private subsidiary.
“We are duty-bound to protect the interests of all shareholders and to prevent a majority shareholder acting in breach of the Relationship Agreement.”
Benamor has heavily criticised the company in social media comments claiming the business was committing ‘slow-motion suicide’ and that he would be a willing seller of his stake.
The business was put up for sale in January and today Amigo added discussions are continuing with a prospective buyer.
Shares in the group have plunged by 90% since it listed in 2018 as bad debt charges have risen and it has come under increasing regulatory pressure.