TransUnion commentary on the FLA figures released on Friday

Commenting on the FLA’s consumer finance new business statistics for August 2018, Asia Anwar, account director – lending, TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) said: “According to the latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), consumer finance new business saw an overall increase of 10 per cent in August, compared with the previous year. This has been partly attributed to the strength of retail sales of household goods, which saw its strongest monthly growth in over a decade and strikes a positive note amongst the current concerns about the UK retail sector. Consumer buying patterns are changing, of course, with the online marketplace now such a powerful force, but it’s heartening to see an uplift in August which is typically a quieter month.

“This aligns with the recent ONS statistics which showed retail sales volumes had risen 0.3 per cent in August, outperforming expectation, with household goods stores up 5.8 per cent and non-store retailing up 12.8 per cent. With retail sales accounting for a fifth of the economy, this bodes well for continuing improvement in the coming months.

“However, it’s important that businesses continue to do all they can to ensure consumers don’t overextend themselves financially, by carrying out robust affordability checks, so that whether it’s credit cards, loans or store cards, responsible lending is the priority.”