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Subprime lender Provident Financial says first-half profit down 22.6 percent

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Subprime lender Provident Financial says first-half profit down 22.6 percent

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LONDON (Reuters) – British subprime lender Provident Financial Plc <PFG.L> reported a 22.6 percent drop in first-half pretax profit as it continued to be hit by a reduction in the number of debt collection agents at its home credit division. The company, which provides credit to people who do not meet the lending criteria of mainstream banks, said pretax profit fell to 115.3 million pounds ($150.33 million)in the six months ended on June 30. A change in business model at the company had resulted in staffing levels dropping, which acted as a drag on performance. “Whilst I remain disappointed by the higher than expected operational disruption to trading in the home credit business, the new business model was deployed as planned during the first week in July,” said Provident Financial Chief Executive Peter Crook. “Our focus will be on customer service, embedding the new model and improving collections through the third quarter of the year.”

(Reporting by Maiya Keidan and Noor Zainab Hussain)
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