July 5, 2019 / 1:41 PM / 4 months ago

Car dealership Lookers' finance chief to step down

(Reuters) - Car dealership chain Lookers Plc (LOOK.L) said on Friday Chief Financial Officer Robin Gregson would step down after 10 years in the role and be replaced by retail veteran and former finance chief of Marshall Motor Holdings Plc (MMHM.L) Mark Raban.

Gregson’s departure comes just over a week after the company disclosed an investigation by Britain’s financial watchdog related to its sales processes over the last three years.

The Financial Conduct Authority has been probing lending practices in the fast-growing car financing sector since 2017 and had said in March that some motor dealers were overcharging customers in interest charges to obtain bigger commission payouts.

Lookers said Raban, who has nearly 30 years of multi-channel retail experience and was previously finance director of rival Inchcape Plc’s (INCH.L) retail business, will join the firm on July 15.

His appointment comes at a time when the car industry is facing declining diesel vehicle sales, stricter regulations and the higher costs of developing new electric and self-driving vehicles.

Lookers, which sells vehicles for 32 manufacturers including all major brands such as Volkswagen, Ford and BMW, has also warned of a hit to demand for new cars from lingering Brexit worries, while peer Pendragon Plc (PDG.L) was forced to issue a profit warning last month.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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