The executive chairman of sub-prime lender Provident Financial has died, the company confirmed in a shock statement on Friday (24 November).

Manjit Wolstenholme, 53, "passed away suddenly" on Thursday, the doorstep lender said, expressing its shock and sadness. No further details were revealed.

Wolstenholme took over as executive chairman in August, right after the troubled sub-prime lender issued its second profit warning in three months.

She had been serving on the company's board since 2007, having been appointed chairman in 2014.

Prior to joining the Provident Financial, Wolstenholme also held senior posts at CALA Group, Unite Group and Future publishing. She also served a director at CMC Markets at one point.

Malcolm Le May, senior independent director at Provident Financial, said: "The thoughts of everyone at Provident are with Manjit's family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them. It was a great privilege to know her personally and to work alongside her over the last few years.

"She has shown exceptional leadership in stepping up to the role of executive chairman over the last few months. Manjit was known and respected for her achievements and championing diversity in British business, and we would like to pay tribute to her contribution to the business landscape."