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UK's Provident Financial to close doorstep loans' unit -Mail on Sunday

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(Reuters) – Britain’s Provident Financial Plc is closing down its doorstep lending business after 141 years, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

Provident, which lends to people who do not meet the lending criteria of mainstream banks, will also close its online lending business, according to the report.

The company will instead focus on its credit card business and its car finance operation.

The company declined to comment on the Mail on Sunday report.

Provident has faced criticism historically for poor treatment of some vulnerable customers.

In 2020, the company faced a 2.8 million pound ($3.87 million) fine from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for unfair treatment of consumers.

In March this year, the company outlined a 50 million pound ($69.07 million) plan to settle a jump in complaints and claims against its door-to-door lending business during the COVID-19 crisis.

($1 = 0.7239 pounds)

(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru and Aishwarya Nair; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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