13th September 2013
Provident Financial consumer boss Chris Gillespie quits with immediate effect
Read article here Provident MD Quits
Update From Administrator
Just to update everyone that is asking what is happening to this site.
We have been contacted by various solicitors acting on behalf of provident to close this site down with immediate effect.
They say that the content on this site is NOT TRUE and is effecting business.
There has been many 'issues' on the site over the time it has been 'live', this is as a result of it causing so much attention and getting so many hits/visitors.
I have always believed in freedom of speech and that everyone has the right to voice their opinion.
I will keep this website running for as long possible but I ask that you bear with me as there are a number of 'issues' every time I come to moderate the comments including hundreds of spam/malicious postings and strange pages disappearing (like voice your opinion).
May I also ask that everything you post a comment onto the site the content of the comment is factual as provident's lawyers are stating that it isn't and comments are only being put on to cause trouble and bad feeling.
I will do my best to keep this site up and running as long as possible so that you can all VOICE YOUR OPINION.
Update From Administrator
Due to the increased activity of this site and the fact that 98% of the comments made were being approved, I made a decision to let all comments be pre-approved. They were stilling being vetted but not prior to posting as before.
Due to that fact that there seems to be a few more comments being made which are of a negative/malicious intent and include swearing, I have decided to go back to vetting comments prior to approval.
This site is still run completely anonymously and no details are kept or used in anyway, hence the fact that you can post anonymously. This site is and always will be for the agents and people involved with provident, a place where they can speak their mind without fear of repercussion.
I hope that clear up any doubts that you may have.
Guardian Article on Payday Loan Companies 9th Sept 2012
Article in Guardian Newspaper - Oh dear!
Why are payday loan companies free to shaft the poor?
Charging extortionate rates of interest, these companies are robbing the poor. I know, because I worked undercover for one
Click Provident Financial to see article
Money Saving Expert Comment/Thread
Copy of letter posted on Money Saving Expert to shareholders of Provident Financial.
Click Money Saving Expert to see copy of letter
About This Site
PROVIDENT AGENTS - Don't Worry
To all provident agents who look at this site (the statistics are amazing) but dare not contribute.
Please do not worry.
This site is not controlled by Provident Head Office. They have actually tried many times to shut it down.
It is intended for PROVIDENT AGENTS and indeed management (if they wish) to HAVE THEIR SAY.
Your details are not kept on file and will not be used for further reference.
You can post a comment on here (in whatever alias you choose, you don't have to give your real name ) as long as you are in some way dealing with Provident. Please do not use bad language.
I am the founder and moderator of this blog and I completely believe in FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It is important for you to HAVE YOUR SAY. So please do.
Agents Say No.
What a JOKE!
What a joke... Had the 'big' meeting this week. Don't you find it strange that provident daren't hold the 'big' meetings anymore? They now just hold meetings in small groups of under 5. Worried about something big bosses?
Provident losing £millions
Provident losing customers
Provident losing DM's
Provident losing Agents
Provident closing offices
Mmm... let me think... anything to do with the way you treat agents? Fines maybe? People not asking how high when you say JUMP?
Life is a lesson of learning. Have you learn't yours yet big bosses??
It takes a big man to hold his hand up to making a mistake.
Bring the old system back in and stop treating your agents like something you have stood in.
Read this thread, Click WHAT A JOKE!
Provident on the run…
My question is... How can a company the size of Provident be allowed to change it's managemnet system and company policies as often as it does (feels like weekly at the moment!) without the agents(employees, self employed agents- that is going to be the BIG question!) even as much as signing a contract (what contract?) or document to say that they have agreed and understood the new changes in policy/company structure? I was told yesterday that ….(click provident to read comment)
UK Home Credit
If you click on the above link (red title text)you can see that PPC & GPC are regulated by OFT
In the UK, the provision of credit is governed by the terms of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended) and the regulations and guidance made under it. The act lays out detailed requirements and compliance is monitored nationally by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and, at a local level, by local authority trading standards departments. Complaints can be taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In addition, our home credit businesses must be licensed by the OFT.
Provident Personal Credit (PPC) and Greenwood Personal Credit (GPC) are also members of the home credit industry’s trade association, the Consumer Credit Association (CCA), and are subject to the CCA’s Code of Practice and Business Conduct Pledge. These are voluntary codes which reinforce the statutory requirements contained in the act.
Vanquis Bank Like the home credit businesses, Vanquis Bank holds a licence from the OFT to operate its credit card business and must also comply with the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended). As with PPC and GPC, compliance is monitored by the OFT and local trading standards departments and complaints can be dealt with by the Financial Services Ombudsman.
As a bank, Vanquis is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
For further information on regulation and legislation concerning UK home credit visit our Government policy and regulation section.
Comment posted by I Peerman 24th January. Please click whistleblower to follow this blog/posts
ARTICLE IN YORKSHIRE POST 12th January
Provident reports strong sales at Vanquis Bank
Shares in doorstep lender Provident Financial were up four per cent this morning after the group said 2011 results will be in line with market expectations.
Analysts have pencilled in 2011 pre-tax profits of £159.5m.
Article in Yorkshire Post 12/1/2012
Click Provident to read Yorkshire Post article
In order to make this blogging site a bit more user friendly, I have put different topics on different pages. Please click on the page and continue to comment and reply to comments. If you would like a new page set up for a new topic then just post a comment on an existing page asking for new page with brief idea/description.
BBC Researcher Wants your input
I would like to hear from current agents and x- agents for a bbc programme. Thank you
You can contact Ben direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments here.
The more that speak out then the more people will listen.
Not happy and want to blow the whistle?
For more information on how you can do this, go to http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Contact/Whistle/FAQ/index.shtml
The dreaded new year for so many agents is fast approaching.
You have to wonder what kind of incentives Provident are going to throw out to make agents stay for the first 3 months of the year. What with, bad weather, bad collections, bad issues and what... fines, fines and more fines????
Hope you have a good news years resolution provident! Your agents can't wait to hear it?! VIEW YOUR OPINION HERE
Management have had a 3.4% pay rise?
IS THIS TRUE?
Has your DM had a 3.4% pay rise?
COMMENT FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR
Just to let everyone know…. From now on anyone making negative comments about agents will not have their comments approved.
This site has been set up as a facility in which agents can discuss anonymously (without fear of dismissal) the unfair systems that have been implemented. To help agents ‘have their say’.
Please use the site for what it is intended.
The latest questions were…
1. How many agents do you know that have left from your office?
2. Are your deputies willing to pay these fines or are you going to have to cover them? How are you going to get cover for holidays when so many people are leaving provident and many deputies are not willing to cover your job anymore?
3. January is always a terrible month for collecting, what will your wages be like in January?
4. The company is trying to get more people to pay by credit card or automatic bank payments, why do you think this is? Do you think that provident are trying to get away from having agents altogether?
5. Do you think that the company will survive if it gets rid of all the agents and turns into a call centre/telesales company where everything is done online or via telephone?
How many Agents do you know have left Provident?
I know provident keep smiling through these changes and assuring everyone that all is ok. If it is all ok, why are they giving out agent application forms? How many agents do you know of that have left your office?
Comment from Joe, husband of agent from Liverpool. FSA (financial services authority) need your input.
I’m sure that my wife would rather I didn’t make a comment, but i feel compelled to make clear my own train of thought and at the same time advise that you all write to the FSA about this.
The profound greed from the so called Fat Cats, somewhat apt, when i see pictures of certain directors with surnames that depict an obvious favourite hobby, something to do with eating and ‘COOKING’.
For the record, my work evolves around the logistics & financial sectors and I work personally work with at a direct level senior executives of some of the world’s largest banking and trading institutions such as the late Barings Bank, Sumitomo, Koch Industries, Barclays, Glencore Int., Goldman Sachs, Rio Tinto etc etc. the best of the best companies the world over.
In my 20+ years of working within these sectors and industries, never have I know such an appalling attack on what i view as the very foundation of a business – ITS STAFF. Bankers are very reasonable people when all considered against the people running this company.
To clarify what I mean: YOU THE AGENTS.
You people send your time, effort and money, financing the operation of Provident. How so?
Given the current scenario you:
a. Pay for fuel (which is going up in price, week on week)
b. Pay for Car Insurance (which goes up year on year)
c. Your time – do you receive an increase year on year? NO.
d. You place yourself at risk trawling the streets picking up CASH, night and day and would-be thieves know this.
So in my simple mind the question is: Has anyone in Provident really thought this through?
YES? If the answer is YES, then it’s clear to me and surely to you that these people don’t deserve your loyalty and commitment.
NO? If the answer is no then why on earth not.
Business is a hard arena and that’s a fact, but a sense of fair play must always prevail especially with those who helps us maintain our market and those who contribute the very food we place on our tables each and every day.
So what’s my point: The tactic employed by your company, it’s plain to see, in my mind, is that the agents are no longer valued and are very much viewed as subservient and certainly easily expendable.
In these hard times, one assumes the view of the company is that they can pick up another agent quite easily if you’re to leave ( as ‘Hard Times’ would have us believe) so – leave in mass and watch what happens!
Whilst the guys at the top may be wealthy and indeed may never see again a poor day, they still feel the pressure from share holders and believe me if you’re all to resign and walk away the same week – boy what pressure this would cause. This is easy for me to say as I am the main bread winner in my home and what my wife earns is for her to keep but in principle it should be understood that no one goes to work for nothing and equally when running a business everyone has to eat, else there is simply no joy for all.
Form my own personal view, I dislike your industry because it charges what I consider exorbitant interest rates and preys upon the vulnerable within our society, conversely, it offers a service with considerable risk and for that risk, it takes and makes silly margins – which responsible people seems not to consider.
So from this preface the company makes the money based upon its interest rates – right?
You make your money collecting money on behalf of the company – right?
You don’t make money out of issuing loans – right?
PROVIDENT? – RIGHT ON THE MONEY!
So who’s customers are they? Yours as the agent or Provident’s?
The answer is in the contract.
Who makes the money and is legally bound by the contract?
You the agent?
I think not!
So to finally expound:
a. You make collections from loans issued.
b. You are paid a commission on the collection for the loans issued – Right?
The new rule now states:
a. They will deduct commission from money earned from those loans that people pay – Right?
b. BUT – they will now deduct from that commission, earned from those that have paid you, against those
loans issued to the people that haven’t paid you – Right?
Doesn’t sound ethical to me and there has to be some moral fabric to running and operating a business. by the same token, if they make deductions on this basis, then surely that money should be off-set against those loans, because you as the agent are being penalised for non payment of a loan issued to a client of Provident yet Provident take a margin from you which is in no way reflected from the loan issued.
There has to be something wrong with this and you should all write to the FSA and seek clarification.
The FSA website states the following:
If a firm is suspected of breaching our rules and regulations, the Consumer Helpline will pass the information to the relevant supervisory area of the FSA.
You can call the Consumer Helpline Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) from 8am to 6pm:
Telephone: 0845 606 1234
Typetalk: 18001 0845 606 1234
From overseas: (+44) 20 7066 1000 (main switchboard)
We are committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes.
I suggest you obtain from your manager the FSA registration number of the unit under which you operate and then write a letter. Cut and paste the above explanation about how the commission is deducted from your pay for loans not paid but yet is never off-set against that loan.
To close, don’t become emotional about it, explain the issue in a shorter way than I have here and be both concise and precise.
Remember this, a business has no moral or ethical obligation (people do however, in my mind) but they must remain within the law. Look closely at these boundaries and act upon any minor infringement you find, it is this area that will create a shift in mind set from the top, not because they want to but because the law will force them to.
REGULATION RULES IN THIS MARKET.
Find the infringements and you will make them hurt in such a way you will not comprehend.
Good luck from an ethical and moral Business man.
CALLING ALL AGENTS…
May 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm FROM FRED
Can everyone have a look at my posting of 8th may 2011 (below) entitled
WARNING THIS IS A LONG POST BUT NEEDS TO BE READ
Can everyone start agreeing to the action the 11,500 agents could carry out in weeks 20 and 21 namely
Week 20 no Sales Week 21. Agents to take only their normal wages on that week. Do not take hits or wins.
Can you state what offices or region you are from and register your support to this action (you can still stay anonymous just put in region where it says email address) also can you text all agents details if this this website and this particular posting so everyone knows whats happening. Thanks Fred
A comment I would advise everyone to read…
Submitted on 2011/05/08 at 10:38 pm
WARNING THIS IS A LONG POST BUT NEEDS TO BE READ
Okay time for the moaning to finish folks and time for a bit of action.
The deductions for these penalties would be unlawful should you be an employee however as you are deemed “self employed” by Provident then this is okay by them according to the Agents Agreement which you should have all been supplied with. So where do we go from here? :
1) Agents have local meetings (not in the office and strictly agents only) and gain a consensus that you have a majority of Agents who are against the new Scheme. Record when you had the meeting (for your own records) so that Chris Gillespie (Director) cannot in future say that it’s just a handful of Agents who are not in favour of the scheme.
2) As a result of the above meeting record in writing a general letter to your Office Manager that you had a meeting and that whilst working for Provident that you are opposing the scheme and working under duress at present (i.e. in opposition to the scheme). You need not put any names to the letter.
3) Individually write to each of the directors and record your opposition to the scheme. One letter to each Director. Names of Directors are as follows :
John van Kuffeler, Peter Crook, Andrew Fisher, Chris Gillespie, Robert Hough, Manjit Wolstenholme, K en Mullen, Rob Anderson. All letters individually sent care of
Provident Financial plc
No. 1 Godwin Street
4) All agent s could nominate a single contact person from each office as soon as possible and perhaps forward details to the chap earlier who said he will help i.e. Dean Lacey ( if that’s okay with him )
5) Plan a week of action on Week 20 whereby there are no Sales completed by Agents. You know the score as they cannot prove that the person wasn’t in, doesn’t want a loan, they missed you etc. This action has to take place on week 20 by all agents and this will affect the company at Director Level, I can assure you.
6) This is for DM’s. No-one blames you for what is going on but we would ask for your support in the actions being taken by the Agents with no sales in week 20. All we ask is that you do not pursue Agents as vigorously as you would normally do for sales.
7) Plan a week of action in week 21. Agents to take only their normal wages on that week. Do not take hits or wins whatever the situation for you. It will mean that there will be shorts and over’s on your paperwork (AWRS). This will trigger Security into a state of panic and admin will go into meltdown. Provident in the past few years have viewed a trend in what many of us can see as a “bullying” or “targeting” strategy. What we mean by this is that if you open your mouth in the office you are seen as a threat! Previous scenarios have seen these people eventually forced to leave the company. What I ask is that any practice that you see as a possibility of “bullying” or “targeting” by anyone in the company towards an agent should be a) highlighted immediately b) witnessed and c) recorded in writing to Head Office in Bradford.
9) Many Self Employed feel that we have nothing to back us up – perhaps joining a Union could help ( even just for a few months) Unite charge £4.95 a month to join and have had recent successes against employers such as Provident regarding Employee v Self Employed status.
See following link : http://www.unitetheunion.org/
10) Question your Self Employment status by writing to the following :
HMRC Custom House
Carnbane Industrial Estate
State in the letter that you have an Agency Agreement with Provident but you do not think that what is written in the Agreement reflects your self employed status. For example when Provident either give you targets or ask you to provide estimates are they not compromising the “Self Employment” rules?
Any agent who reads this please pass on details to your mates as its the only way of contacting all 11,500 of you out there.
Provident Financial Group
have GONE TOO FAR THIS TIME, taking money from agents for so many reasons now that it has caused an OUTRANGE among thousand of Agents.
The question has to be asked.....Is It Legal?
It certainly isn't fair when Provident Financial Group has made profits of 145 Million Pounds last year and are now not happy with just taking money off paying customers they are now taking money off working agents for any customers that do not pay.
I have seen the blog in the Daily Mirror but unlike that blog HERE you is giving you the chance as an agent to HAVE YOUR SAY. You can do this completley anonymously by just blogging here on this website. Do not fear for your jobs, have your say here. This blog has been set up by someone who does not work for Provident Financial Group anymore but still knows many agents that do.
Having been asked to set up a facebook campaign, I decided against it, in a bid to make this as anonymous as possible for all agents.
- What is your story?
- How are you effected?
- How does it make you feel?
- Are you prepared to say NO?
What do you propose agents can do to stop this new system? It needs to be stopped in its tracks.
Can the agents unite to stop this ludicrous new system that has been implemented through the backdoor by Provident Financial Group? Let's face it... there was no big launch was there? No team meeting at a selected venue? NO. All agents were told individually, one can only suppose as not to cause a massive riot and walk out by all agents in the team.
What can you do to stop this? What will make the 'big' bosses at Provident Financial Group take heed and listen?
- Launch a worldwide campaign?
- Say no to new doors?
- Say no to transfers of bad payers?
- Say no to issuing when you know customers can not afford it?
Don't be walked over again