GMAC rumoured to be making plans to selling Provident to pay off US debts

Provident sales and marketing director Mike Smith has quit to head up Giles-owned underwriting agency Ink.

Smith resigned from the Provident board this month and will take up his new role in March 2010.

This comes amid widespread speculation that Provident could be sold to pay off debts owed by parent company GMAC, in bailout money to the US Treasury.

Last month GMAC sold off its US property casualty business and has carried out a strategic review of its broader insurance assets. GMAC has hoovered up two bailouts totalling $12.5bn (£7.54bn).

A source said: “The theory is that it makes no sense to sell off the US insurance business and keep its UK business. There is no process at the moment but people would not be surprised to see it on the market next month.”