We aim to be the leading non-standard
lender in the UK and Ireland, meeting the
demand for credit from our customers.
We will achieve this by generating good
returns to reward shareholders and to fund
our planned growth. We still believe the
best returns will come from organic
growth of our existing businesses which is
where we will continue to apply our focus.
Our strategy to achieve growth is to
expand and modernise our home credit
business, to scale up our credit card
business to achieve significant profitability,
and to develop new products in the
non-standard credit market to extend
We will maintain the prudent approach
to the financial management and funding
of the business which has served us well.
Progress in 2009
We continued to make good progress
against our strategy in 2009.
We increased the number of customers
served by our home credit business by 5.1%
in 2009 and when demand for credit
returns to more normal levels this will
allow us to further increase the amount
of credit we issue.
At the beginning of 2010, following a
review of the market test for Real Personal
Finance, a direct repayment loan product,
we decided to restrict our direct
repayment loans to customers with whom
we already have a good relationship and to
market the loans under the Provident
Direct and Greenwood Direct brands.
We made yet further progress in bringing
Vanquis Bank firmly into profit and up to
operational scale and customer numbers
and receivables stood at 426,000 and
£255.5m respectively at the end of 2009.
We are making good progress towards our
new, medium-term targets for this business
of growing receivables to £450m by the
end of 2012 whilst maintaining a post-tax
return on equity of 30%.
These are significant achievements in the
current economic climate and, when
combined with prudent financial
management and our commitment to
corporate responsibility, the group is in a
strong position entering 2010. A more
detailed report on our progress against our
strategy can be found in the reports on the
In conclusion, our objective is to be the UK
and Ireland’s leading lender in the 10
million-strong non-standard credit market.
This means having strong market positions
in each of our businesses, operating in a
sustainable fashion, being a highly
regarded corporate citizen, and
maintaining high customer satisfaction
ratings. We are well placed to achieve
2 March 2010