Corporate governance

Good corporate governance is an integral part of our CR programme. It ensures that CR continues to be integrated into the strategic decision-making of the business. This in turn, enables us to be committed and organised to understand and respond to the short and long-term CR issues that are material to our businesses, manage our key risks, and respond to the needs and concerns of our stakeholders.

Overall responsibility for the Group’s responsible business programme rests with the Provident Financial plc Board generally and Malcolm Le May, the Chief Executive Officer, specifically. The Group’s Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Chief Executive Officer and includes the Group’s Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Information Officer, Corporate Communications Director and the Managing Directors of the operating companies, also plays an important role as it reviews and approves aspects of the responsible business programme and its budgets.

The Executive Committee is also tasked with overseeing the development, embedding and monitoring of the culture and ethics of the Group, and ensuring they are consistent with being a trusted, responsible and sustainable business. This will involve ensuring that the policies, procedures, systems and behaviours of our operating companies are aligned to our blueprint, and ensuring that any material issues which relate to the culture and ethics of the Group are reported to other relevant Board Committees. You can read more about our policies here.

In addition, the company has formally established the Customer, Culture and Ethics Committee, which is a Committee of the Provident Financial plc Board. The Committee is chaired by non-executive director Elizabeth Chambers. The other members of the Committee are Paul Hewitt (non-executive director), Angela Knight (non-executive director), Graham Lindsay (non-executive director), Malcolm Le May (Chief Executive Officer) and Simon Thomas (Chief Financial Officer).

This Committee will focus on reviewing the Group’s culture and business processes to ensure that they are focused on delivering fairer customer outcomes, providing oversight of management’s delivery and embedding of the new blueprint, and overseeing the Board’s compliance with the new corporate governance requirements under the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code. In focusing on these areas, it is anticipated that the Committee will, among other things, provide oversight and challenge to the Group’s Executive Committee to deliver real cultural change. As such, it will help to strengthen the way that the Group’s responsible business programme is governed and implemented, by providing oversight of the Group’s management of a number of key themes, including culture and ethics; being a responsible and inclusive employer; community involvement; environmental protection; and stakeholder engagement and reputation.

To read more about recent developments in the corporate governance structure of the group, please download the Our Business section of our 2018 CR report.