Lender says it is well placed to handle the inflation crisis

Bradford-headquartered sub-prime lender, Provident Financial Group, (PFG) says it continues to benefit from a repositioning of the business, as it releases a trading update for the first three months of 2022.

The company says it traded in-line with management’s expectations during the first quarter of 2022 and remains on track to meet market expectations for the year.

Malcolm Le May, chief executive officer, added: “This performance reflects the work we have carried out over the last two years to reposition PFG towards the near-prime and mid-cost segment of the market.

“Underpinned by its strong balance sheet and risk management framework, PFG remains prudently positioned for the current inflationary environment in the UK and will continue to support its customers through additional support and increased communication.

“For the first quarter of 2022 and April, we have seen no discernible negative impact on our customers as a result of higher living costs.”

The Group’s credit card business experienced a recovery in customer spend patterns to 2019 levels. New customer bookings increased by approximately 25% year-on-year despite tighter underwriting standards introduced during 2021.

PFG says its vehicle finance business continued to see a “buoyant” second hand vehicle market during the first quarter, while credit issued was broadly flat year-on-year.

And the Group’s personal loans business saw open market loan volumes continue to track ahead of expectations, demonstrating strong underlying demand from customers. As a result, receivables ended the period slightly ahead of FY 21.