Nearly 80 staff at the Bradford city centre head office of Provident Financial Group are facing the axe as the firm plans to cut a total of 340 jobs.
Staff in Provident’s consumer credit division, both at the Thornton Road head office and around the UK, were told of the planned cuts yesterday afternoon and will find out their fate during a 45-day consultation process.
In Bradford 78 positions are affected, with the remaining 262 possible redundancies among field-based managers and clerks across the UK and Northern Ireland. The cutbacks will leave around 2,500 staff in the home credit operation.
It is the second round of job cuts to hit the field workforce as, in its half-year update in July, Provident revealed it had cut 170 jobs at a cost of £4.5 million.
The latest move is in response to falling demand for the group’s ‘doorstep’ loans and shrinking customer numbers which saw home credit profits fall from £49.3 million to £36.1 million in the first half-year, a result which Provident described as being ‘markedly’ below 2013 plans.
Conversely, Provident’s non-standard credit card operation Vanquis Bank is booming and continues to recruit call centre staff and expects to have created 250 new roles this year.
Provident said the cuts followed a review of roles and responsibilities and the reduction in staff would better marry up resources with costs, the number of customers and sales.
The group said it was repositioning its consumer credit business. This included the launch of the online Satsuma Loans operation this month.
Provident chief executive Peter Crook said: “The economic environment continues to be difficult for our customers as their incomes remain under pressure. This has an impact on the performance of our home credit business and we have reluctantly taken the decision potentially to reduce the number of roles.”
Meanwhile, the Bradford branch of DVD rental firm Blockbuster, in Greengates, looks to have escaped the axe as administrators of the company announced details of store closures.