Hundreds of Provident Financial agents 'happily' jump ship to doorstep lending rival Morses Club

Oliver Gill
Follow Oliver
Joie De Vivre
Morses Club said satisfaction of agents it has pinched from Provident Financial is at much higher than average levels (Source: Getty)

Britain's second largest doorstep lender has received a huge boost by poaching hundreds of agents from crippled rival Provident Financial.

Paul Smith, the chief exec of Morses, told City A.M. this morning that the new intake of agents are extremely happy to have left Provident and to be working at a firm "that values the contribution that they make".

Morses Club grew its agent base at more than four times its normal rate, with the "vast majority" of the new agents coming from the former FTSE 100 giant.

Morses grew half-year revenues by 14.8 per cent, "at a point in the year when growth is usually flat or in slight decline," Smith said.

“It would churlish of me to ignore the Provident word," he admitted and revealed most of the 434 agents the firm has taken on were poached from Britain's largest doorstep lender.

Morses usually grows its agent base by around 100 each year.

Provident crashed out of the FTSE 100 last month after enduring one of the largest sell-offs in blue-chip history. Shares fell over 70 per cent after the firm admitted it was struggling to collect debts and was on course for losses of up to £120m.

Much of Provident's travails have been blamed on a botched operational restructuring that unnerved agents by changing working practices.

“It is safe to say the vast majority of those [incoming agents] were ex-Provident agents with about eight years average experience each," Smith said.

We did a snap survey of territory build agents, the brand new folks and their levels of satisfaction with the new organisation that they joined was running at 92 per cent.

So, [we’re] pretty confident to say that they are very happy indeed to have joined an organisation that makes their working life easier through technology and that values the contribution that they make.

Provident Financial declined to comment.

Read more: Provident Financial has just handed rival Morses a whopping profits boost

Open goal

ETX Capital senior market analyst Neil Wilson said Provident's problems had presented an "open goal for Morses Club".

He added: “Morses Club delivered a very positive set of interim results after grabbing market share from Provident Financial... Territory builds – i.e. poaching agents and the areas they cover from the Provvy – is a particularly easy source of growth as all the hard work in acquiring customers has been done already."

Read more: Provident Financial facing a £300m bill in a PPI-style mis-selling scandal

Related articles