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Provident Financial reports increased profits

Doorstep lender Provident Financial has today reported a 3.5% increase in profits at a time when the UK economy is struggling and UK consumers are literally being consumed by debt. The increase in profitability to £53.1 million in the first half of 2009 has attracted the criticism of various charities around the UK with Barnardos particularly critical of the group.

Indeed, Barnardos has called for the government to launch an enquiry into the doorstep lending industry amid claims that interest rates of up to 545% are being levied against the more risky consumers of the UK. The increase in profitability for Provident Financial appears set to continue with confirmation that customer numbers increased by 5.3% during the first six months of 2009 to 2.1 million people. It is well known that many of the UK population will look towards doorstep lenders in these most difficult of times if their own credit rating has been impacted in any way.

Even though the UK government, and various regulators, have looked into the doorstep lending industry on numerous occasions and attempted to rein back the excessive interest rates charged, if the 545% rate is correct then all historic attempts to regulate the industry have failed dramatically.

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