Provident Financial to change name and CEO

Provident Financial (PFG.L) said on Thursday it was replacing its chief executive officer and renaming the company as the British subprime lender repositions itself as a specialist banking group.

The lender, which announced the plans alongside its fourth- quarter update, said new lending in the last three months was strong as people relied on unsecured borrowing to meet expenses during a worsening cost-of-living crisis.

Its credit card business also saw strong demand in the run- up to the festive period, with credit card spend increasing by about 2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

Chief Executive Malcolm Le May will step down in the summer and be replace by Bank of Ireland UK chief Ian McLaughlin, said the London-listed company, which will be known as Vanquis Banking Group from March onwards.

"We enter 2023 with a planned new corporate identity... a new secured product strategy with the launch of our second charge mortgage pilot phase and new funding optionality with the approval of the large exposure waiver," Le May said in a statement.

Second charge mortgages are subsequent and separate loans to original mortgages in place.

(This story has been corrected to change the period to three months, not four, in the second paragraph)