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Britains's Non-Standard Finance flags errors on past dividends

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – British sub-prime lender Non-Standard Finance (NSF) has identified errors related to its past dividends and buybacks, it said on Friday, adding that this would not affect its bid to buy larger rival Provident Financial.

NSF’s statement came after Provident repeatedly raised concerns about the historical dividend payments and share buybacks made by NSF.

The two lenders have been locked in a takeover tussle since NSF made a 1.3 billion pound hostile bid.

NSF said all the infringements identified could be rectified and would have no bearing on its strategy and financial or operational performance.

It also said that there would be no impact on its ability to pay a final dividend for 2018 of 2 pence per share.

“We think these findings have, potentially, very serious implications for the probability of this deal happening,” analysts at brokerage Goodbody said in a note earlier in the day.

Provident has stood its ground against NSF and last week raised new concerns about the strategic, operational and financial merits of NSF’s offer.

(Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Goodman)