Provident Financial Group is a FTSE 100 company in the non-standard specialist lending sector. This is the case study focusing on the award winning annual report project for 2015.

Social Purpose

Provident Financial Group (PFG) has a long 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. In December 2015, PFG was promoted to the FTSE 100.

In recent years, the non-standard specialist lending sector has been stigmatised by the behaviour of certain organisations. Established for over a century, PFG is known for setting consistently high standards in the sector and sees the annual report as one key way to explain how it acts responsibly in all its relationships.

In addition, PFG's promotion to the FTSE 100 meant that it wished to once again improve its reporting practices by actively demonstrating its strengths alongside its new group of peers.

We worked closely with the PFG team to develop a business model that articulates how the business generates value across five product areas. This was supported by a narrative thread focused on PFG's social purpose.

A detailed marketplace narrative backs up the investment case while the divisional reviews highlight how the business model works for that specific product and incorporate customer case studies.

Although PFG is financially very successful, the company's core driver remains its social purpose. To emphasise this key aspect of the business, we reinvigorated the risk section by introducing a discussion around vulnerable customers and possible emerging risks and by linking principal risk to the business model. Finally, we brought the Governance section of the report to life, using infographics and clear language to reflect the four areas of the Governance Code.

In our view, the 2015 PFG annual report stands out as a beacon of best practice and socially responsible behaviour in a cluttered and complex sector. The messaging is clear and consistent, the delivery sharp and focused.

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