New Contract Accelerates Expansion of Hertford's UK Cheque-Cashing
* Contract with Money Transfer International Limited ("MTI")
to expand Hertford's existing third-party cheque-cashing network
by up to 25%
* Cheque Exchange Limited ("CEL") to initially provide
cheque-cashing services throughout circa twenty pre-selected UK
Hertford International Group Plc (AIM: HIG), a provider of personal
financial products and services, is pleased to announce it has
entered into a contract with Money Transfer International Limited
("MTI") to offer Hertford's third-party cheque-cashing services in
the United Kingdom across their retail network, with the potential to
expand Hertford's existing cheque-cashing network by up to 25%.
This contract is for a minimum period of three years and then subject
to twelve months notice, and will see Hertford's wholly owned
subsidiary, Cheque Exchange Limited ("CEL"), provide cheque cashing
initially through around twenty pre-selected locations scheduled to
commence during the next few weeks, with an ongoing roll-out across
MTI's two hundred plus agents, targeting ten retail outlets per month
thereafter until December 2010.
Since Hertford's acquisition of Cheque Exchange earlier this year,
organic growth has led to a near 15% increase in the network size,
and with the commencement of the new partnership with MTI the Company
now expects the total expansion of the network to be close to 50% by
year end. This is a strong step towards Hertford's strategy of rapid
network expansion through B2B initiatives.
Third-party cheque-cashing will also be part of MTI's offering as it
continues adding new locations to its MoneyGram� network, enabling
MTI to further differentiate itself from other money transfer
super-agents when looking to secure new locations.
CEL will provide all of the relevant support functions from its
centralised processing centre in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.
Around one million people in the UK use third-party cheque cashing
outlets each year, cashing a total of over three million cheques.
CEL currently processes approximately 150,000 cheques annually,
giving Hertford just over four per cent market share in the UK. The
new agreement targets a large and established retail network,
providing Hertford with the opportunity to significantly increase its
Lewis Findlay, Chief Executive of Hertford, commented; "This contract
provides Hertford with the opportunity to build on its acquisition of
CEL completed in January of this year, by leveraging the expertise
gained from over fifteen years delivering our third-party cheque
cashing service. Our stated ambition was to significantly increase
our share of the UK cheque cashing market, and now we can look
forward to working closely with MTI, who themselves also have strong
proven credentials as a provider of financial services."
James Nicholson, Chief Executive of MTI, commented; "We are delighted
to be working with Hertford, and believe that they are an ideal
partner for the provision of cheque-cashing services across our
network. This is a natural product to complement our current
offering, which I am sure will prove mutually beneficial to both our
companies, and we look forward to growing this relationship over the
Money Transfer International (UK) Limited ("MTI") is a limited
company that is an authorized super-agent of MoneyGram� in the UK and
the Republic of Ireland, offering through its network of
Sub-representatives across the UK and Ireland, MoneyGram� money
For further information please visit www.higplc.com or contact:
Hertford International Group Plc
Paul Marks - Non-Executive Chairman
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3178 4440
Lewis Findlay - Chief Executive
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7012 2000
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7562 3350
Notes to Editors:
Hertford was admitted to the AIM market in December 2007 with a
strategy to provide financial services to primarily those people who
are not able to access a traditional bank account (the "unbanked").
Hertford owns 100 per cent. of CrewCard Network ("CCN"), a marketer
of prepaid debit card programmes targeted at a number of high growth
niche markets, including those people without a bank account.
CCN's business model is to develop several complementary brands,
develop its own distribution network, and build an ongoing
relationship with its card users, which will enable it to sell
additional products and services.
As part of this strategy, Hertford completed the acquisition of
Cheque Exchange Limited ("CEL") from Provident Financial Plc in
January 2009. CEL is the super agent for MoneyGram and is a
profitable cheque cashing and money remittance business. This
acquisition provided Hertford with an established operational
infrastructure, a sales force, and positive cash-flow on which to
grow the business and fulfil the vision of Hertford.
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