Consumer credit in the UK, key trends and opportunities up to 2017

Date: 2015-09

“After steadily declining from 2011, consumer credit growth showed early signs of an upturn in 2013. Fluctuations in consumer confidence and developments in the wider economy are key factors behind recent trends in credit growth. New loan products and changes in lending criteria have also been influential.

Lending on credit cards, motor finance and unsecured personal loans declined during the 2008–2012 review period as recession, high unemployment and high loan interest rates undermined consumer confidence and reduced their propensity to borrow for the purchase of high-value, discretionary items. Signs of a nascent recovery have been in evidence in 2013.

In contrast to standard lines of consumer credit, student loans and payday loans have registered strong growth over the 2008–2012 review period. Sustained growth in the former has been due to students borrowing more to cover a rise in university tuition fees, while tight lending conditions through conventional channels have fuelled the rapid increase in sums borrowed from payday loan companies.

The unbanked population played very little part in the traditional consumer credit industry as it has become increasingly difficult for a potentially high-risk customer to receive a loan from a retail bank since the financial crisis. The emergence of Payday loans, together with store credithave, however, played a role in granting these “sub-prime” groups access to forms consumer credit. ”

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