Equals, the B2B focused e-banking and international payments group, has furloughed 20% of staff and reduced pay for all employees by 20% as a cash conversation measure as it bids to ride out the effects of the Cornavirus pandemic.
In a Q1 trading update, the AIM-listed firm reported strong growth in international payments (up by 116%) and also corporate banking (up by 30%), however, this was offset by declines due to the pandemic in March 2020 in travel money (down by 30%) and corporate expense platform usage (down by 11%).
International payments were supported by volatile currency markets which saw corporate customers transacting to hedge positions. B2B banking saw increased new account openings as more companies sought to move to online trading.
While revenues to 31 March 2020 were 32% higher than the same period last year at £8.3 million, the firm is taking firm action to counteract the likely revenue impact on its business during the lockdown - furloughing staff, shrinking wage packets and reviewing its office space requirements, especially in London, as all staff take to working from home.
The outlook for Q2-2020 is largely dictated by the length and severity of the lockdown here in the UK and impact on the global economy, says the company.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals Group, says: “We are pleased with the resilience that business has demonstrated in Q1-2020 which reflects the underlying growth of the business in ‘normal’ conditions and validates our strategy over the last two years of transforming the business to one that focuses largely on B2B. We have also taken decisive and prudent steps to protect the Group including cost reduction measures and this combined with the continued dedication of our staff, provides us with increased confidence that we will emerge from this pandemic in a strong position.”