Banking group says it has taken action to rebuild for sustainable growth

Ian McLaughlin

Bradford-headquartered Vanquis Banking Group says it has a strategy in place to grow its business and deliver benefits to a broader customer base despite dealing with serious challenges in 2023.

Releasing its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2023, the group recorded a statutory loss before tax, including amortisation of acquisition intangibles and exceptional items, of £4.4m.

This compared to the previous year’s profit before tax of £110.1m – or £99.4m including the group’s discontinued consumer credit division (CCD).

Vanquis also reported a lower adjusted profit before tax of £24.9m (2022: £126.6m), along with total income of £488.8m (2022: £480.7m).

Ian McLaughlin, chief executive officer, acknowleded Vanquis – formerly called Provident Financial – is facing considerable challenges as it works to reset its business.

He added: “After a first half loss in 2023, we generated adjusted profit before tax of £30.4m in the second half, reflecting cost management actions and impairment provision releases.

“We assembled the right leadership team and took some important first steps, creating a healthier mix of price and volume driven growth, simplifying our operating model and taking out costs. We have established solid foundations for the transformation of our business.

“We have a strong sense of social purpose and a unique market position. We have a better understanding than ever before of how to serve our large and growing customer base.

“We do have a period of hard work and change ahead of us. It is still early days, but we are making progress.”

Vanquis explains it is continuing to take significant steps in the first quarter of 2024 to redevelop its customer proposition and reset pricing.

With the implementation of these changes, the group expects to return to modest lending growth from the start of the second quarter.