Middle-class savers give a lift to Provident


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The Independent Online

Middle-class savers from the Home Counties are helping to fund growth at doorstep lender Provident Financial, which today reported a 12 per cent jump in profits to £162m.

The chief executive Peter Crooks said Vanquis Bank, the offshoot which supplies credit cards to people who would not normally qualify for one with mainstream banks, has taken in more than £140m of savings.

He said: "The typical saver is over 50, depositing an average £35,000 and comes from the Home Counties."

Vanquis savers earn around 4.5 per cent on fixed deposits while Vanquis credit card charges are 39.9 per cent. But bad debts on Vanquis cards run at 36 per cent, reflecting the high-risk nature of its customers.

Mr Crooks said overall bad debts on Vanquis and its consumer lending business were falling. The dividend rises 8.7 per cent to 69p.