Student Loans Company chairman has resignation offer rejected

Posted by Michael Rainsford in ,

A ministerial statement has revealed the chairman of the Student Loans Company (SLC), Christian Brodie, has had his resignation offer rejected in a meeting with business secretary, Vince Cable. The news follows the SLC's recent press attention, in which it emerged that the quango responsible for administering student loans in the UK had sent "misleading" letters to 309,000 graduates in arrears as a method of chasing payments between 2005 and 2014. The Office of Fair Trading stated that the approach was "misleading because they created the impression that debts had been escalated for collection by transfer to a third party"

The ministerial statement by universities minister, David Willetts, added that Mr Brodie had given ministers a "clear and unequivocal apology", that Brodie had a "very important" job to do at the SLC and said that he and Vince Cable were clear that "it would be unfair for Mr Brodie to take the blame for a practice that was nearly 10 years old, particularly as he had only been chairman since he joined in February of this year".

Brodie insisted that the guerrilla-tactics displayed in these letters was not known to him or Cable before the recent media frenzy. In follow up to these developments, a four-point plan has been drafted, and any new method of dealing with debt collection will have to be cleared by the SLC board and ministers. Further, the company intends to hire two new non-executive directors to its board before the end of 2014.

Willetts highlighted "It is important that the government recover taxpayer's money, but it must do so in a way which is fair". An SLC spokeswoman has confirmed that they were not planning to compensation payments to customers despite calls to do so, and the SLC also does not plan to write apologies to individual customers.

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