THE embattled owner of Welcome Financial Services warned today that another 500 jobs are at risk as it continues its battle for survival.
Batley-based Cattles, which is labouring under debts of £2.4 billion and has been hit by accounting irregularities, plans to close 30 of its 180 Welcome branches and reduce the number of its sales and support teams.
Cattles said the proposals - in response to reduced levels of lending - meant 510 workers were given notice today that they are at risk of redundancy.
It has already closed its Welcome Car Finance car loans business and axed more than 1,000 jobs, including through the closure of an office in Hull.
The company said it remained in negotiations with key creditors about a deal that would give it breathing space on the repayment of its debt.
Cattles will now enter into a consultation process with staff affected by the proposals.
The closure of the 30 branches will be at locations where leases have expired or are due to expire, the company added.
Executive chairman Margaret Young said: "These proposed changes are central to Cattles achieving a more cost-efficient business model which mirrors current levels of lending activity."
Last month the firm sacked six senior bosses over a "breakdown in controls" which resulted in its policies on bad debts being applied incorrectly.
This was understood to involve deferring and extending repayment terms on under-performing loans to avoid making a loss provision in the accounts.
Shares in the group were suspended after it delayed its results to resolve the accounting issues.
Cattles has sold its invoice finance arm and suspended lending to new customers in order to conserve funds.