Consumer finance new business grew by 19% in March 2022

New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that consumer finance new business grew by 19% in March 2022 compared with the same month in 2021. In Q1 2022 overall, new business was 34% higher than in the same quarter in 2021.

The credit card and personal loan sectors together reported new business up by 33% in March compared with the same month in 2021, while the retail store and online credit sector reported new business growth of 8% over the same period.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “FLA consumer finance providers reported further double-digit growth in March to reach a record level of monthly new business of more than £11 billion. This strong performance continued to reflect pent-up demand, the distorting effects from the closure of shops and showrooms during the third UK lockdown last year, and the widespread inflationary pressures that have built up post-pandemic and following the invasion of Ukraine.

“The UK economic outlook has weakened significantly because of the squeeze on household incomes and business profit margins from higher inflation. The consumer finance market is likely to see growth moderate as the year progress, with single-digit new business growth in 2022 as a whole.

“As always, any customer worried about meeting payments should speak to their lender as soon as possible to find a solution.”