Consumer finance new business falls by 26% in February

The total value of consumer finance new business fell by 26% in February compared with the same month in 2020, new figures published by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) have revealed.

Data showed there there was £5,654m worth of new consumer finance during the month.

In the three months to February, there was a total £18,605m worth of new finance, which also reflected a fall of 26% compared to the same three-month period a year earlier.

Elsewhere, the FLA’s figures also showed that the retail store and online credit sector reported £579m new business for February, a fall of 6% compared with same month in 2020.

The credit card and personal loan sectors together reported a fall in new business of 30% over the same period, having reached £2,867m worth of new finance during the month.

Commenting on the figures, FLA director of research and chief economist, Geraldine Kilkelly, said: “The lockdown restrictions over the winter months contributed to a fall in consumer finance new business overall of more than a quarter, with the credit card and personal loans sectors some of the hardest hit.

“As the economy begins to re-open and consumer confidence improves, we expect to see a strong rebound in many of the consumer finance sectors. Annual new consumer credit overall in the UK is expected to return to its pre-pandemic level in 2022.”

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