‘No decision made’ says Provident on doorstep lending…

‘No decision made’ says Provident on doorstep lending closure reports

BRADFORD-based lender Provident Financial has said “no decisions have been made” following reports it is set to close its doorstep lending business after 140 years.

It was reported yesterday that Godwin Street based Provident is ending its doorstep lending service following a few years of loss-making amid complaints from professional claims services.

Provident is the biggest specialist sub-prime lender in the UK and has more than 380,000 customers.

However Provident has said no decisions have yet been made, and all will be made clear in their annual results published in six days time.

In a statement, the lender said: “PFG notes the recent media coverage regarding the previously announced operational review of its Consumer Credit Division (CCD) including, as an option, the possibility of a managed run-off of its home credit and Satsuma businesses.

“The Group confirms that, whilst no decisions have been made, the review is nearing completion and the outcome will be announced with the Group’s full year 2020 results, to be published on Monday 10 May.”

It was said the reported move by Provident highlights the pressure on the sub-prime credit market, following the collapse of other short-term lenders such as Wonga and QuickQuid in recent years.

It was reported in national newspapers that Provident will also close its online lending business Satsuma, switching focus to its credit card business Vanquis Bank, and car finance operation Moneybarn.

Doorstep loans involve lenders visiting the home of a borrower to collect repayments, often with high levels of interest.

Provident’s doorstep lending business is the oldest in the country, but the sub-prime lending industry has been a sector under fire from complaints for some time.

The industry has faced accusations of leading people into debt and failing to check whether people can afford to make repayments, with a alrge volume of complaints made against sub-prime lenders made by professional claims management companies.

The Telegraph & Argus asked Provident how this reported closure would affect its Bradford headquarters and how many jobs would be affected by the closure, but the firm declined to add any further details.