Cash Genie Peter sells majority stake to American firm

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HE left school in Bury St Edmunds with no qualifications but founded his own payday loans firm.

“The company has grown beyond my wildest dreams.

“I have been lucky to surround myself with very loyal and hard working people,” Mr Tuvey said.

The 32-year-old who left County Upper School at 16, sold a 72 per cent stake in the company.

Mr Tuvey set up Cash Genie in Ipswich in June 2009 with a team of six staff.

It now employs more than 100 people in Ipswich and a further 100 in the Philippines.

Cash Genie expects to launch online lending in Finland next month.

Prior to the buyout it was rated the fourth short-term money lending company in the UK with a turnover of £17.5 million.

Although he has sold a majority stake in the company, Mr Tuvey is staying on as chief executive for Europe.

“Payday loans have got an awful lot of stick,” he said.

“We are thought of as loan sharks. I think the reason for that is down to APR.

“We offer short term loans whereas APR is an annual product. If we lent someone £500 for a year it would be pretty obscene, but we are not a mortgage company. The cost of credit if you borrow £100is that you pay £120. The trouble is APR takes everything out of context.”

Mr Tuvey started his working life at Homebase in Bury. He left for Phones4U and became manager by the time he was 17.

After a spell working in claims management and insurance, Mr Tuvey helped with the setting up of The Fortress Group in Bury. It was his work with the Jobcentre, YMCA and other charities, helping young people in Cambridge into work, that saw him named as employee of the year.

“I went to the Houses of Parliament to collect that award and obviously when you get something like that people believe in you,” he said.

That helped him approach entrepreneurs to back his payday loans venture.

The buy-out by the American company will see Cash Genie take a new direction helping people in the subprime market back into prime lending.

EZ Corporation, in a financial statement, said: “Cash Genie significantly accelerates EZCORP’s online strategy in the UK and EZCORP’s existing UK online lending operations, most of which are outsourced, will be rolled into Cash Genie.”

It said Cash Genie had 300,000 customers with almost 70,000 outstanding loans and a net loan balance of around £11 million at the end of February.