PROVIDENT Financial says it thinks very few independent shareholders have agreed to support a hostile takeover.

Non-Standard Finance have made an unsolicited £1.3bn offer for Provident.

But according to Provident, 96 per cent of shares held by Independent Shareholders have not been assented to the offer.

The Bradford personal finance firm's third-biggest shareholder, Schroders, announced on Tuesday that it will not be accepting NSF’s unsolicited offer in respect of its 14.6 per cent shareholding.

Provident says it is continuing to actively engage with its shareholders and urges them to follow Schroders’ lead and reject NSF’s "flawed and value destructive offer".

The company says it and its advisers have collectively met and engaged constructively with shareholders representing about 35 per cent of its shares since Tuesday, and the board continues to urge all shareholders to take no action and "not accept this opportunistic and value destructive offer".

In addition, Provident noted that as per the latest acceptance report received from NSF on Tuesday, 96 per cent of shares held by independent shareholders have not been assented to the NSF offer.

The Provident board has strongly urged its shareholders to take no action in relation to the NSF offer.