Provident unveils details of major recovery plan

Provident Financial has set up a recovery plan to re-establish relationships with customers, improve its collections performance

Provident unveils details of major recovery plan

Provident Financial has set up a recovery plan to re-establish relationships with customers, stabilise operations and improve its collections performance. 

The plan involves retaining the employed agent operating model, which Provident said should allow the business to own and manage all aspects of the customer journey, and exercise greater control over customer interactions. 

Manjit Wolstenholme, executive chairman of Provident Financial, said: “A number of actions have been implemented to restructure the field organisation, to provide the foundation for delivering the improvement in customer service and financial performance.” 

The company has already moved away from the prescriptive routing and scheduling of customer interactions, which were embedded in the new operating model. Provident has instead restored the ability of local management to prioritise and allocate resources to meet customer needs.  

It said a key feature of this will mean increasing field management resource, to restore control which had been diluted by the new operating model. The specific measures include: 

• Moving from two to four UK divisions through the recruitment of two extra general managers and increasing the number of regional managers from 12 to 24; 

• Appointing assistant area managers to support compliance, administration and arrears to free up 160 area managers to enables them to focus on local resource allocation and management of individual customer experience managers; 

• Recruiting at least 300 part-time employed customer experience managers, primarily from the previously self-employed agent workforce; 

• Providing training for new and under-performing customer experience managers, including extending the shadowing period and reintroducing a ‘buddy’ system; 

• Increasing contact centre resource to handle higher call volumes, undertake a customer contact programme and assist customers making their regular payments. 

Provident said the recent changes have prevented any further deterioration in business performance. Collections performance was running at 57 percent in August but increased to 65 percent in September. However, this was running at 90 percent in 2016.  

Provident said this performance is in line with the recovery plan and guidance provided on August 22, of a pre-exceptional loss for its consumer credit division of between £80m and £120m for the full year of 2017.