- Sub-prime lender Non-Standard Finance said it was planning a 'substantial' equity raising as the pandemic shrinks the size of its loan book.

Non-Standard Finance said it needed to strengthen its balance to support future growth, avoid covenant breaches 'address the material uncertainties regarding going concern'.

It had commenced planning work on the raising with the support of largest shareholder Alchemy, with a view to completing it in the second quarter of 2021.

The company said its loan book had declined about about 27% in the year through December year-on-year.

In the branch-based lending business, Non-Standard Finance said there had been a 'significant' increase in impairments and provisions due to the pandemic.

However, it said it was 'encouraging' that loans written since the start of the pandemic had performed better than its historical average.

In home credit, collections improved in the second half and the number of Covid-19 flagged customers had reduced to less than 1% at the year-end.

Story provided by