PROVIDENT FINANCIAL, s.r.o. a member of International Personal Finance plc, (IPF) was established in Slovakia in 2001 and is one of the largest and most successful providers of home credit – small, short-term cash loans.
Last year, 2007, was a milestone in International Personal Finance’s short history. IPF was created by the demerger of Provident Financial plc’s international home credit businesses. Its shares were admitted to the Official list and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities on 16 July 2007. International Personal Finance aims to be a leading provider of simple, fair and transparent financial products and services. We aim to be recognised around the world as the human face of finance, particularly to people of modest means. IPF seeks to grow the business
in markets around the world where there is a significant need for our products and services. This,
in turn, generates added value for our investors and development opportunities for our people. Since our international home credit business began in 1997, we have grown substantially and now operate in six countries and have 1.9 million customers in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Romania and Mexico. In 2007 we achieved a pre-tax profit of £50 million and in the first half of 2008 it is £22.1 million, which is a 40-percent increase compared with the first half of 2007.
IPF is a business built around people, with 5,600 employees, 28,000 agents and 1.9 million customers. At its core is our ability to meet each of our customers, in their own home, every week. The strength of the relationship that develops as a result enables us to ensure we provide a level a personal and flexible service that is difficult to match. It is the “human face of finance” that sets IPF apart. Our product, home credit consists of a small-sum, unsecured loans delivered to the customer`s door by an agent who then calls every week to collect the repayment. Fast, accessible, inclusive, personal and flexible, the service is popular with people on modest incomes.
We aim to be a responsible company that treats its customers well. Responsible lending and proper care for the customer are built into the home credit system. In 2007 we set up a responsible
lending group to investigate ways of giving credit customers a better experience. We are committed to developing policies and practices to ensure we are aligned to the principles of Treating customers fairly an initiative of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). It aims to raise standards and so benefit consumers and increase their confidence in the financial services
industry. Although IPF is not regulated by the FAS, we feel that aligning our business in this way adds value and underlines our commitment to responsible business practice.
Our approach to corporate responsibility (CR) involves setting up initiatives which support business and address the issues that matter. This means having corporate standards in place to ensure we carry out our business in a responsible manner, including measures to gain the trust and confidence of our customers. It also means investing in local communities and the way we manage, develop and ultimately retain our people.
Provident Financial Slovakia
We manage our business in Slovakia by offering consumer loans that meet the needs of our customers. We provide loans from 3,000 Sk (99.58 €) to 40,000 Sk (1,327.76 €). Our customers borrow money for a variety of planned and unexpected expenses.
It is very important to provide our 300 employees with opportunities for learning and development that meet their needs at each stage of their careers. We developed a talent management programme to identify willing, talented, prospective leaders who are capable of promotion within the company. We focus on finding people who could become country managers, operations directors, and field development managers.
Community investment is an integral part of corporate responsibility. The Slovak division is an active player in this area. To date we have donated more than 5.5 million Sk. Our company wants to be a good community partner and a good neighbour. Our employees can contribute to charities through
voluntary help or by providing ideas, knowledge and experience for fundraising. One of the core activities is a financial literacy programme. We believe that helping to educate consumers on issues such as money management and using credit wisely ill benefit both the business and the wider financial sector. Through our School of Family Finance programme, which is in cooperation with the Children of Slovakia Foundation, we hope to raise awareness and enable consumers to be better at managing day-to-day budgets and to be more familiar with the mechanism and language of financial