Customer contact firm Carpeo to create up to 100 jobs in Swindon as it launches financial services arm

May 10, 2017

Up to 100 jobs could be created in Swindon by fast-growing customer contact centre Carpeo as it expands into the financial services market.

The firm, formed in 2009 in Swindon with just four people working in one room, now employs 250 people at its Old Town head office.

But the inbuilt growth from its existing products coupled with a new wills and funeral plan service unveiled today will trigger hundreds of jobs, it said.

Having secured a grant from the Welsh Government, Carpeo is to open a new contact centre in Newport – where it plans to take on around 300 staff over the next five years.

However, it said it remains committed to also grow in Swindon with immediate plans to recruit 25 more staff in the town with possibly a further 75 in the near future.

Carpeo represents some of the biggest blue-chip clients in the education, automotive, insurance, logistics, restaurants and hospitality, energy and retail sectors including brands such as Jamie’s Italian, RAC, Scottish Power, Thames Water, Amazon, Asda, Tesco and O2.

It expects to have a turnover of £9.4m in the year to the end of this month, with growth momentum to more than double that to £20m over the next four years,

Last month it secured FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) accreditation for its new Carpeo Financial Services subsidiary, which has enabled it to sell financial products direct to the public – beginning with a range of products that it says will disrupt the UK Wills and Funerals market.

It has taken as its starting point aCost of Dying’ report produced by insurance giant Sun Life last year that revealed around 60% of UK adults die without a legal will and 40% without a funeral plan – leaving more than a quarter of a million UK families to cope with the stresses of going through probate court following the death of a family member.

It also showed that the rise in the price of funerals outstripped inflation, wages and pensions with the average funeral coming in at £3,897 and the cost of dying at £8,802 per person.

Carpeo Estate Planning, which also has ISO9001 accreditation, will offer interest-free credit on a range of estate planning options against average rates on funeral plans are 14-22% – enabling the cost of a funeral to be fixed at current rates.

Carpeo founder and director David Williams, pictured, said the new subscription-based service would start from £12.50 a month and allow its members to buy affordable wills and funeral planning products. The subscription will also give access to a discount portal enabling them to save on average £260 a year on purchases made at retailers, including at supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda. 

The firm said it has identified a potential market of 3m people for the service.

It is partnering with Hugh James, the UK’s largest provider of will writing services, he market leader in the provision of funeral plans Golden Leaves and professional advisory firm Broomfield & Alexander to launch the service.

The idea for the new business came from friends of Carpeo’s founding directors who had bad experiences when family members died intestate (without leaving legally enforceable wills).

Mr Williams added: “Everyone wants to leave their affairs in good order, but the sad fact is most people don’t. It just seems wrong that so many people have to make the tough choice between enjoying life today and safeguarding their wishes and estate.

“Our unique and innovative membership scheme is designed to make it easy and more affordable through exclusive discounts and monthly, interest-free payments.”

Mr Williams said being based in Swindon had enabled the firm to rapidly build a talented workforce. However, he said it was becoming harder to find the right people in the town as unemployment falls.

Carpeo has increased its pay and added a range of staff perks to attract the right people, including help with childcare and membership of its new estate planning club.

Mr Williams added: “We’re proud to be creating a significant number of jobs which consolidates our position in Swindon and sees us branching out into our newly refurbished sister-site in Newport very shortly.

“With over 300 jobs in the pipeline, this is great news for our staff, local economies, our clients and their own customers.”

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