Bradford based ethical lender increases its technology leadership strength
Financial services provider Provident Financial Group has appointed Jonathan Varden as its CIO, a return to the CIO role for Varden who has been vendor side following a stint as Digital CIO with the Cooperative Group.
Speaking to me earlier this year Varden said he was impressed with the technology team and ambition at Provident Financial Group and that he was keen to get back to the strategic creation and delivery side of being a CIO.
Provident Financial Group is a consumer finance services provider, offering credit cards and loans under brands such as Satsuma Loans, Provident, Moneybarn and Vanquis bank.
Provident Financial Group aims to be a niche financial services provider offering services to those that it describes as
“not well served by mainstream credit products or who are excluded from credit altogether.”
Despite the risks, the Bradford, Yorkshire based business says it carries out strong affordability checking and relies on close contact with its customers to avoid any potential problems.
Varden left the Cooperative after just 10 months in June 2014 when the mutual conglomerate was at its lowest ebb following the revelation that it had a massive hole in its finances and the Sir Paul Flowers scandal. Varden joined the Cooperative in September 2013 as part of a team his former colleague Andy Haywood created to drastically modernise the technology function and usage at the Cooperative and to bring the various groups of the organisation together.
Prior to joining the Cooperative, Varden had been CIO of UK high street pharmacy retailer Boots for two years having stepped up to the CIO role from being Head of Solutions delivery.
Provident Financial Group is a return to financial services for Varden who was Lloyds and before that Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) for six and half years.
Since June 2014 Varden has been CDO and Head of Retail at vendor UST Global a US based IT services provider.