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Provident sees progress for credit card, home credit arms

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Provident sees progress for credit card, home credit arms

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(Reuters) - Sub-prime lender Provident Financial <PFG.L> said on Friday its credit card business was on track to deliver full-year profits in line with an internal plan as it continues to rebuild its businesses after a series of regulatory investigations.

The company also said it had almost completed a recovery plan for its door-to-door home credit arm but that customer numbers dipped to 449,000 in the third quarter from 464,000 in June and that collections were still 10 percent below historic levels.

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Provident is striving to win back customer faith after prolonged problems at its home lending arm knocked 70 percent off its value last year and led to the departure of Chief Executive Peter Crook.

Sub-prime lenders have seen rapid growth in Britain over the decade since the financial crisis, as banks curbed risky lending and years of austerity have forced poorer people to borrow more.

But a poorly-done restructuring of the home credit unit at Provident had led to customers moving to other lenders including Morses Club <MCLM.L> and Non-Standard Finance <NSF.L>.

Customer numbers at its credit card business Vanquis Bank - which has been a driver of profit - rose 6.3 percent year-on-year to 1.8 million at the end of third quarter.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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