New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that consumer finance new business fell in December 2020 by 18% compared with the same month in 2019, and decreased by 18% in 2020 as a whole.
The retail store and online credit sector reported new business 6% lower in December than in the same month in 2019, and fell by 5% in 2020 overall. Credit card and personal loan new business together fell by 24% in December compared with the same month in 2019, and decreased by 22% in 2020 as a whole.
Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said:
“Many Covid-19 restrictions remained in place during December disrupting the most important sales period of the year for retailers. The strength of online sales during 2020 meant that the retail store and online credit sector recorded the smallest rate of contraction in new business last year.
“The vaccine rollout in the UK has improved the outlook for the UK economy in the second half of 2021. More than two-thirds of consumer finance respondents to the FLA’s Q1 2021 Industry Outlook Survey expected some growth in new business over the next year if economic conditions improve.”
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