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Moneylender Provident shuts lending operations in Ireland and UK

DUBLIN: Provident, largest moneylender in the Irish market, is shutting down its lending operations in Ireland and the United Kingdom, where it is headquartered. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the subprime lender, and it has been losing money in both the Irish and UK markets. This “tough economic situation” led them to make the decision to discontinue their doorstep lending operation.

Provident wrote on its Irish website: “The tough economic situation has resulted in us making the difficult decision to stop lending”. However, the company has said that it will be contacting all customers over the coming days. The withdrawal is expected to cost up to £100 million.

Provident, which was established in 1880, is estimated to have over 380,000 customers in Ireland. The company has stated that it will not be providing any new loans, even to existing customers. But those who have already signed a loan agreement will receive their loan.

The Central Bank yesterday confirmed Provident’s exit from Irish market and said that customers with queries about existing loans should contact the company. The bank said customers can visit www.providentpersonalcredit.ie for any queries related to their moneylending loan.

“We would encourage all consumers who are considering taking out any form of credit to ensure that you borrow from a regulated lender by checking the register of regulated firms on our website www.centralbank.ie,” the Central Bank said.

“Before taking out a high cost loan, consumers are encouraged to consider other credit options better suited to their needs that may be available from other regulated lenders,” it added.  

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson, said that Provident’s exit from Irish and the UK market highlights the importance of swift action in Ireland’s personal credit sector. He added that a coordinated response is needed to protect the interests and resilience of borrowers.

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