Why PFG works
The group is successful in lending to customers whom others find it difficult to serve because of the way we manage the customer relationship and the solid foundations that we have built for our business.
How we create value
Secure longer-term, lower rate funding
We borrow longer, at lower rates than we lend, from diverse wholesale and retail sources, always with at least a years’ headroom. We do this through strong relationships with our banks, deposit taking, a BBB- credit rating and a FTSE 250 listing. We create value by allowing investors to participate in our markets indirectly and our businesses to meet customer demand throughout the cycle. Our funders enjoy a reliable source of good solid diversified income. Our customers enjoy affordable, sustainable, and responsible access to credit.
Develop tailored products to meet customers’ needs
We focus on the UK non-standard credit market, developing simple, transparent products with flexibility to help customers cope with life. Adapting to the needs of a specific target market, we generate high customer satisfaction and loyalty. We create value by covering the higher cost included in serving non-standard consumers with loans at affordable rates, enabling us to lend to those otherwise financially excluded. We have longer experience, and a wider range of specialised products than our competitors, better suiting the market diversity and dynamism. We continue to innovate to match consumer trends.
Attract target customers
We use many ways to reach non-standard consumers. We target our offers using mailing and increasingly digital methods, as well as face-to-face and partners such as brokers, agents and retailers. We create value for customers and third parties by responsibly offering credit to the otherwise excluded and enabling them to make purchases or deal with life on tight incomes. Consumers are able to shop in the modern world, get to work and deal with larger expenses. Partners earn commission, and retailers make more sales. Our longer experience makes us more effective than our competitors. Our ability to lend and commitment throughout the cycle has earned us trust and loyalty of both intermediaries and customers.
Assess affordability and credit worthiness
We carefully assess applicant credit worthiness, along with affordability, suitability and sustainability. We use internal and external data, including face-to-face interactions, taking into account the current situation and the likely future. Our specialisation, experience and bespoke approach allows us to create value by maximising approvals while maintaining sufficient returns. Customers get the credit they need more often, where responsible, and each assessment and outcome adds experience and knowledge, improving future decisions. We have been active in the non-standard market for longer than most, with a wider range of products at a larger scale helping us to maintain our advantage in assessing applications.
We tend to lend smaller amounts over shorter periods and take a ‘low and grow’ approach as customers demonstrate sustainability. Where a vehicle is held as security, we can lend more credit for a longer duration. We create value by helping customers enter or re-enter the credit market, stay in control and build credit scores for greater future access and choice. Our customers are no longer financially excluded from modern life, now or in the future. Our focus and specialised experience makes us better at helping customers on this journey than our direct competitors, and able to lend where mainstream lenders cannot.
Collect repayments due
We offer many ways to pay in cash and remotely, maintaining high levels of frequent customer contact. We stay close to customers through call centre, digital communications and face-to-face meetings weekly in the home. We help our customers to stay on track and build better credit scores by adapting our methods to suit the realities of customers’ lives in an understanding way. Self-employed agents earn income from successful payments encouraging them to build skills and experience in dealing with customers. The scale of our high-tech contact centres and our experienced well-trained employees set us apart from our competitors, and our volumes help us to maintain our superior performance. We share these best in class collections capabilities across the group to help established and new businesses improve quicker and earlier.
Manage arrears and customer difficulties
We establish early contact and an ongoing dialogue with customers who have difficulties, with a sympathetic approach, trying to understand and offer forbearance. Our focus is on making a difficult situation easier to deal with by taking a personal approach to resolving problems. Our customers value this understanding highly, as it minimises their arrears, and damage to their credit score. It also maximises recoveries, and enables customers to qualify for further credit. Our far more rapid, intensive and personal approach sets us apart from mainstream lenders and our scale, experience and greater investment differentiates us from other specialists. We are able to share our arrears management capabilities across the group to help established and new businesses improve performance and customer satisfaction.
Pay for funds and generate surplus capital to deploy
We grow our attractive ROA, cash and capital generative businesses, under a funding model that now pays 75% of earnings in dividends and retains 25% equity to combine with external funds at a low gearing to fund growth. We create shareholder value by delivering superior returns throughout the cycle and our strong capital base sustains our ability to grow and attract external funding. Investors and funders rely on good returns. Business units rely on funding being available, and customers rely on credit availability regardless of constraints elsewhere. We enjoy better capital generation and less reliance on external funding through the cycle, allowing us to plan longer-term with confidence to take advantage of market opportunities.