THE lender Amigo has said it wants to be a “role model” to the industry – days after being told to improve the information it gives to guarantors of its personal loans.

The Bournemouth-based company offers loans of up to £10,000 at 49.9 per cent APR (annual percentage rate) to borrowers who can find someone to act as guarantor.

It says this puts it in the “mid-cost credit space”, with interest rates “above prime borrowing rates but below the high-cost short-term credit cap of 100 per cent APR”.

In half-yearly results, the company said its number of customers was up 17.9 per cent to 222,800 and its net loan book was up 8.8 per cent to £730.7million in the six months ending on September 30.

But the bottom line was hit by £10.4m put aside for complaints. Profit after tax fell 1.9 per cent to £37m and adjusted profit after tax fell 24.2 per cent to £35.8m.

The company said it had received “feedback” from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has been looking into guarantor lending.

Amigo initially said the FCA had not raised concerns about its loan products or made comments about its underlying business model but had “identified some areas where our customer journey could be enhanced.”

However, Amigo later put out a clarification, saying that the review had only focused on the information given to potential guarantors. “The review was not intended to examine the guarantor loan product itself nor the underlying business model at Amigo,” it added.

Commenting on the half year results, Amigo chief executive Hamish Paton said: “The first half of the financial year has demonstrated continued demand for our guarantor loan product with solid growth in customer numbers. We are making encouraging progress as we roll out the operational and strategic initiatives outlined in August. While it will take some time to see the full benefits, we are pleased with the positive start we have made.

“Amigo holds a leading position in the guarantor loans market and our product makes a real difference to the lives of our borrowers, many of whom cannot access credit from mainstream providers. We are determined to use that position to be a role model in a growing sector, working alongside our regulators, to be at the forefront of best practice and achieve the best outcome for our customers.”

Richmond Group, the investment vehicle of Amigo’s founder James Benamor, has revealed it intends to appoint two representatives to the Amigo board. Mr Benamor, who set up the company in 2005, quit its board last year after it floated on the stock market.