Our CR strategy

Our CR strategy is driven by our Social Purpose – financial inclusion for those who are not well served by the financial services industry, or are excluded altogether.

But beyond this, we recognise our ability and responsibility to contribute to other stakeholder needs, so our CR strategy ensures to integrate social, ethical and environmental initiatives into the group’s corporate business strategy. To us, corporate responsibility is acting responsibly in all our stakeholder relationships. Whether we are opening a new account for a customer, engaging with a supplier or writing a workplace policy for employees to adhere to, it is vital that we act responsibly to ensure a sustainable future for our business and the wider stakeholders we may impact.

Our social purpose explained

Provident Financial Group’s social purpose is providing financial inclusion to those who are not well served by the financial services industry, or are excluded altogether, so that they can improve their relationship with credit and take part in everyday life.

Why this social purpose? There are estimated to be between 10 and 12 million consumers who are not well served or are excluded altogether by the products and services offered by the financial services industry. These consumers are not well served or are excluded altogether for a variety of reasons: they may have low/unstable incomes or a poor credit history or may have experienced a significant life event. The impact of not being well served or excluded in this way are not just financial. It can also impact on employment, education, and health and wellbeing.

Our social purpose commits us to providing customers within this market with appropriate amounts of credit, maintaining close contact with them throughout the term of their loan, and working with them sympathetically if they experience difficulties. The terms and conditions for our products are also designed to meet their particular needs, and rigorous checks are made to ensure customers can afford their repayments.

Every two years we undertake a review of the issues that are considered to be material to the business from a CR perspective. This review involves engaging with a broad group of stakeholders in order to identify and priorities issues for the coming years so we can ensure CR issues remain relevant to our stakeholders and our industry whilst also reflecting current affairs and regulation. Please see our most recent materiality matrix below which outlines business, social and environmental issues, and their importance to our businesses as deemed by stakeholders.

To read more about our CR strategy, please download the Responsible business strategy section of our CR Report.

Our commitment to The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and to ensure that all people can live in peace and prosperity. The 17 goals that make up the SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals but integrate and address new areas such as peace and justice, innovation and climate change. To achieve the targets of the SDGs, working in partnership with others is crucial. Governments, businesses and communities around the world need to commit to making changes to improve life to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come and this is why we have decided to play a part.

Our CR strategy is made up of objectives and targets that are in line with some of the SDGs. Although our strategy is mainly focused around achieving positive outcomes for our key stakeholders, we also know that these positive impacts have the potential to impact others in our country and in other parts of the world. Therefore, this year we plan to undertake research and analysis on how we can integrate the SDGs into our CR strategy so that we can contribute more widely to the global sustainable development agenda.