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BREAKING NEWS

Non-Standard Finance still has sights set on rival Provident after rejected bid

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(Reuters) - Subprime lender Non-Standard Finance Plc (NSF) said on Friday that it was still looking to buy and transform Provident Financial Plc, even after its bigger rival rejected its unsolicited 1.3 billion pound takeover offer.

NSF, known for giving credit to people who do not meet the lending criteria of mainstream lenders, also reported a pretax loss of 1.6 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31, compared to a pretax loss of 13 million pounds, a year earlier.

The latest year was helped by a bigger loan book.

On Wednesday, Provident repeated a call to investors to reject a nil premium takeover bid launched by Provident's former CEO and said it had a clear plan to map out growth and enhance performance across its divisions.

"NSF intends to capitalise on its operational and commercial success by acquiring and transforming Provident to unlock substantial value for all shareholders of, and stakeholders in, both Provident and NSF," the lender said in a statement on Friday.

NSF reiterated its plan to demerge its home credit business, Loans at Home, to help ease any competition concerns.

Founded by John van Kuffeler five years ago, NSF said 2019 had started well, after reporting a 29 percent jump in full-year net loan book to 310.3 million pounds.

The company said it had not seen any notable effects of Britain's looming exit from the European Union on its business, with more customers falling into subprime lenders as bigger banks tighten scorecards around any economic downturn.

NSF brought forward the publication of its results citing feedback from investors.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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