New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that consumer finance new business grew by 147% in April 2021 compared with the same month in 2020.  In the first four months of 2021, new business was 1% higher than in the same period in 2020.

The retail store and online credit sector reported new business up by 31% in April compared with same month in 2020, and growth of 8% in the first four months of 2021.  The credit card and personal loan sectors together reported new business up by 61% in April compared with the same month in 2020, but a fall of 12% in the first four months of 2021.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said “The strong pick-up in consumer finance new business was expected with the further easing of lockdown restrictions in April and given the adverse impact of the first lockdown on new business levels during the second quarter of last year. The latest figures show that the recovery in April was broad-based, with new business provided through personal loans and credit cards growing, year-on-year, for the first time since the pandemic began.”

“Pent-up demand and an improvement in consumer confidence are expected to contribute to a strong recovery during the second half of 2021, with our latest research suggesting that consumer finance new business will grow by 14% in 2021 as a whole, and by a further 16% in 2022.”

New consumer credit lending

Apr 2021

% change on prev. year

3 months to Apr 2021

% change on prev. year

12 months to Apr 2021

% change on prev. year

Total FLA consumer finance (£m)

7,700

147

22,516

17

85,976

-12

Data extracts:

Retail store and online credit (£m)

632

31

1,916

10

8,636

0

Credit cards & personal loans (£m)

3,609

61

10,134

1

39,294

-22

Second charge mortgages (£m)

81

154

236

2

684

-43

Car finance (£m)

3,061

1557

9,338

45

33,615

-1