Provident Financial Group (PFG) has a long and proud record of providing credit to those individuals who would otherwise be financially excluded. PFG has been recognised as a leading FTSE 250 reporter for several years, winning accolades from a number of award schemes. This is the company's second annual report since being promoted to the FTSE 100.
For many stakeholders, the non-standard specialist lending market can conjure negative images. As the leading non-standard specialist lender, PFG is different. The company's social purpose is financial inclusion and it has a long history of responsibility in the broadest sense: responsibility in the way it lends; responsibility in its impact on communities; and responsibility in the way the management team runs the business.
Demonstrating this difference was at the heart of the challenge we faced. At the same time, we wanted to retain a focus on people - showing how PFG makes a difference to real lives.
The report quickly establishes PFG's social purpose and values before providing a snapshot of the four divisions. The business model is the engine room of the strategic report. We built on the model used in the 2015 report, graphically expressing its eight elements. The divisional performance reviews demonstrate how each element of the model applies to each of PFG's businesses.
The step-change for this year's report comes in the analysis of the marketplace. Here, we lay out the dynamics of the non-standard credit market in the UK, showing the trends and customer needs, and explaining how PFG will continue to meet them.
The Governance section was also the subject of significant work this year. This is an area where PFG sees an opportunity to again express its commitment to transparency. The narrative around each committee is prefaced by a clear explanation of its role, responsibilities and composition, as well as a frank exposition of the committee's achievements during the year.
The 2016 PFG annual report explains a complex, sometimes misunderstood business with clarity and transparency, providing vital detail on performance while never taking its focus away from the big picture of responsibility.