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Rich List 2017: No.=30 - Anthony and Graham Coombs and family

The family behind credit business S&U is a new entry on the Rich List with a £150 million fortune

Roland Rowley Anthony Coombs
Anthony Coombs

Finance
2017: No.=30 - £150m
2016: New Entry

Twins Anthony and Graham Coombs and their family have a £150 million stake in S&U, the Solihull credit business founded in Birmingham before the war by Welshman Clifford Coombs.

That was in 1938. Now the company, which specialises in consumer credit and card finance, turns over more than £45 million a year.

The Cranmore Avenue-based business is profitable, showing a pre-tax profit of just under £20 million in 2015, with assets of £128 million.

The business was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1961.

After operating for 40 years, S&U and its sister company S.D Taylor Ltd changed their business model in the mid-70s, moving from a goods-based credit business to a finance and hire purchase operation.

This was successfully taken forward by Clifford Coombs's sons.

The home credit operation - Loansathome4u - was sold in August 2015 for £82 million.

In 1999 the business set up its Advantage motor finance operation which has provided vehicle finance for more than 100,000 people and shown 17 consecutive years of record profits.

Graham Coombs
Graham Coombs

Oxford-educated Anthony Coombs, 64, was appointed managing director in 1999 and chairman in 2008.

He is a former pupil of Charterhouse School. Between 1987 and 1997 he served as MP for Wyre Forest and was parliamentary private secretary to David Mellor as well as serving in the Whips' office.

Before being elected to Westminster he was a councillor on Birmingham City Council.

He serves on the executive of the Consumer Credit Association and is a director of several other companies.

He chairs the trustees of the Birmingham-based National Institute for Conductive Education and served as a member of the Royal Ballet Trust board.

Twin brother Graham Coombs is deputy chairman and is responsible for the business's property matters.

Also Oxford-educated, he joined S&U after graduating from London Business School in 1976.

He is also a trustee of the National Institute for Conductive Education which supports children with disabilities.

S&U makes charitable donations through the Keith Coombs Trust which supports young people's charities. Keith Coombs - Anthony and Graham's father - died in 2010, aged 82.

He was former chairman of Birmingham City Football Club, as was his father, Clifford.

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