How we enable
Stakeholder engagement is at the heart of our sustainability activity. To deliver long-term value we need to establish and maintain sustainable relationships with all our stakeholders to reduce business risk, maximise opportunities and improve profitability. It is important that our stakeholders understand our unique business model and its important role within the consumer credit market and wider community.
When setting our sustainability objectives we utilise stakeholder views to ascertain the material issues for the business through:
- Workshops with our main stakeholder groups around key business issues
- Meetings with industry associations
- One-on-one meetings with individual stakeholders
- Extensive consumer and customer research programme
Policy makers and regulators
Working with regulators and the policy community is also an important part of our approach to stakeholder engagement. We are proactive at an EU level and are involved in policy debates with Commission officials, Members of the European Parliament and think tanks on issues such as:
- Responsible lending
- Financial inclusion
- Financial education
- Illegal lending
- Credit intermediaries
Wherever we operate, we liaise with regulators and key policy makers to explain what we do, how we do it and why our customers like it. More locally, we make a point of being proactively involved in discussions on a national level with policy makers in our markets and work with many external organisations to promote the responsible business agenda, share best practice and learn from others.
Stakeholder events - Romania
In Romania, where the National Bank of Romania introduced debt-to-income limits in January 2019 and a parliamentary debate on a potential APR cap continues, we actively engaged with key decision-makers to ensure they fully consider the implications of these matters on the consumer finance segment. We arranged a series of multi-stakeholder events at national and local level to raise awareness of the role of non-banking financial institutions in a well-functioning credit market. We also presented an economic footprint study highlighting our contribution to the Romanian economy in the 12 years we have served customers in this market. The events were attended by representatives from the most relevant regulatory authorities to our businesses including the Romanian Parliament, the Central Bank, the Consumer Protection Authority and the Competition Council. Other events were organised under the umbrella of the UK Embassy in Romania and the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, leveraging our British heritage and consolidating our position as a key player in the British business community in Romania. This sustained engagement has been successful in promoting understanding of our role in accelerating financial inclusion for Romanian society, communicating our high standards of governance, and it has positioned Provident as a reliable dialogue partner for the key decision-makers.