Provident ups sales despite benefit cuts

SPECIALIST doorstep lender Provident Financial said yesterday it expected the impact of government spending cuts to have a modest impact on its customers.

The lender said for the 12 weeks since the beginning of September its Home Credit sales were seven per cent ahead of sales for the same period a year ago.

The company said this was due to an increased focus on selling credit to existing customers and what it believes to be “increased visibility on their household incomes”.

The firm said the capping of benefits that a family can receive at around £500 per week would affect less than one per cent of its Home Credit customers who will also not be hurt by cuts to child benefit for the better off.

It added capping of housing benefit would not have a significant impact on the small minority of Home Credit customers living in private rented accommodation and in receipt of benefits. It pointed out there was no change to social housing rents for existing tenants, which is relevant to almost half of the company’s customer base.

Peter Crook, chief executive of Provident Financial, said continuing favourable trends for the business helped “reinforce management’s confidence of delivering a good result for the year.”