Consumer finance new business fell by 26% in February 2021

9 April 2021

New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that consumer finance new business fell in February 2021 by 26% compared with the same month in 2020.

The retail store and online credit sector reported a fall in new business of 6% in February 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.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, 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.”

 Table 1: New consumer credit lending


Feb 2021

% change on prev. year

3 months to Feb 2021

% change on prev. year

12 months to Feb 2021

% change on prev. year

Total FLA consumer finance (£m)







Data extracts:







Retail store and online credit (£m)







Credit cards & personal loans (£m)







Second charge mortgages (£m)







Car finance (£m)







 Note to editors:

  1. FLA members in the consumer finance sector include banks, credit card providers, store card providers, second-charge mortgage lenders, motor finance providers, personal loan and instalment credit providers.
  2. In 2020, FLA members provided £113 billion of new finance to UK businesses and households. £86 billion of this was in the form of consumer credit representing over a third of total new consumer credit written in the UK in 2020.
  3. Consumer motor finance reported in these figures refers to finance obtained through the point of sale.
  4. For media enquiries, please contact the FLA press office on 020 7420 9656.

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