Thursday 26 March 2020 9:09 am

Non-Standard Finance cuts lending amid coronavirus outbreak

Non-Standard Finance is cutting lending across its divisions in a bid to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on its financial performance.

The sub-prime lender said it is reducing lending volumes across all three of its divisions to shift resources to managing collections.

Read more: BoE and Treasury to resume coordinated response to prevent coronavirus slump

The group said it would continue to offer credit, subject to an assessment of affordability, where there is an urgent need and/or where knowledge of an existing customer “provides us with the requisite comfort that we are happy to lend.”

Non-Standard Finance is also putting in place arrangements to offer credit to eligible “key workers” during the period.

“Whilst it is hoped that these measures will be in place for a temporary period only and that the group can soon return to normal business practices, the timing of any such return remains unclear and will depend, among other things, on prevailing government advice and the circumstances at the time,” the lender said.

Additionally, Non-Standard Finance said the full impact of Covid-19 on the group’s financial performance will be heavily influenced by the severity and duration of the pandemic.

As such the lender will withdraw all previous guidance and medium-term targets until further notice.

Read more: Government and Bank of England urge banks to keep lending despite coronavirus uncertainty

In a bid to conserve cash in this period, Non-Standard Finance’s board has determined it will not recommend or pay a final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 December 2019.

The group said: “The board believes that by prioritising cash conservation, when circumstances allow, we will be better placed to return to our normal lending and collections practices as quickly as possible.”

Shares fell more than seven per cent in early trading.

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