StockMarketWire.com - Credit provider Provident Financial delivered results in line with internal plans during the third quarter, as all three divisions produced 'good' business volumes.

Vanquis Bank saw third quarter new customer bookings of 90,000, consistent with the second quarter of the year. Although this was 13,000 lower than the third quarter of last year, the group said it reflected tighter underwriting standards, including the withdrawal of the 69.9% APR product in the first half of the year and the implementation of revised affordability processes in November 2018.

Customer numbers ended the third quarter at 1,811,000, or 2% higher than last year.

Moneybarn new business volumes showed year-on-year growth of approximately 36%, ahead of management's plans. As a result, customer numbers at the end of September 2019 stood at 73,000, up 24% on September 2018.

In Moneybarn, default rates and arrears trends are consistent with the third quarter of last year and profits were broadly in line with the group's internal plans. It said this was despite the adverse impact of stronger-than-forecast growth under IFRS 9 and a modest decline in used car values.

In the Consumer Credit Division (CCD), which comprises the group's home credit business, Provident, and the digital loans business, Satsuma, the number of new and returning home credit customers was 6% higher than the third quarter of 2018.

Home credit customer numbers ended the third quarter at 388,000, down from 403,000 at June 2019, with new customer recruitment expected to continue its upward trajectory during the seasonal peak in trading in the fourth quarter of the year.

The group said it has continued to reduce headcount in response to the reduction in customer numbers, with a further 400 CEMs and field managers having either left or are expected to leave the business by the end of 2019. This is expected to result in CCD's cost base reducing to below £200m in 2020.

Group chief executive Malcolm Le May said: 'I am pleased to report third quarter performance in line with internal plans, with continuing good momentum in new customer volumes and stable delinquency. The ongoing improvement in performance leaves the group well placed as we enter the important fourth quarter trading period.'

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