UK Consumer Credit: Forecasts and Future Opportunities to 2023

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The UK consumer credit market experienced challenging conditions in 2019. Lending in 2020 is set to rise by 5%, but overall growth will remain flat at around 4-5% throughout the rest of the forecast period. This means gross advances are expected to total £372.4bn by 2023. The following factors will drive the market over the next few years:

Supply side: Stricter lending criteria, high incidences of bad debts, and the Prudential Regulation Authority’s intent to impose a more stringent regulatory regime – together with a cautious approach towards unsecured lending among providers – will curtail the credit supply growth rate over the forecast period.

Demand side: Demand for credit will likely hold due to the slow pace of economic growth, high levels of existing household debt, and low levels of productivity on the macroeconomic front. Weak retail sales, which reflect consumers’ reluctance to spend, will also adversely impact the appetite for lending.

This report offers five-year gross lending forecasts for the consumer credit market up to 2023. It offers insight into the key macroeconomic, regulatory, and other factors that will drive demand and supply over the next five years. It also provides an outlook for total consumer credit including overdrafts, P2P lending, motor finance, payday lending, home credit, credit cards, and retail finance.


– Overdrafts will be in decline as the Financial Conduct Authority encourages banks to reform their overdraft practices and customers adjust their spending habits to avoid high-cost borrowing lines.

– Motor finance sector growth contracted, falling to 3.1% in 2019. New car sales are decreasing, and the excess of vehicles that will enter the used car market over the next few years will bring down prices.

– The payday lending sector suffered a huge contraction due to tougher regulation, including strict price caps and comprehensive affordability checks. This resulted in several lenders exiting the industry.

Reasons to Buy

– Develop more targeted strategies through the analysis of key consumer credit market developments.

– Inform your future plans with our five-year forecast of gross advances for all credit lines.

– Analyze trends with details of historic gross advances across a range of credit lines.

– Benchmark yourself against competitors and ensure you remain competitive as new innovations begin to enter the market.

– Be prepared for how regulation will impact the consumer credit market over the next few years.

SafetyNet Credit
Koyo finance
The Co-operative Bank
Freedom finance
The Money Shop
Provident Financial
Lloyds Banking Group
Tesco Bank

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. The state of the UK consumer credit market

1.2. Prospects for niche sectors

1.3. Critical success factors


2.1. Gross lending growth fell in 2019, but will recover over the forecast period

2.2. Consumer credit supply is expected to reduce further

2.2.1. Depressed supply is set to impact credit availability

2.2.2. The quality of new credit has improved over the last two years

2.2.3. Quarterly write-offs on other unsecured debt have surged while credit card debt write-offs remain high

2.2.4. The PRA is implementing a more stringent regulatory regime

2.3. Consumer demand for unsecured credit will be impacted

2.3.1. Credit providers reported a slump in demand for unsecured credit in Q4 2018

2.3.2. Macroeconomic factors also point towards moderate demand for credit

2.3.3. Weak retail sales reflect consumers’ reluctance to spend

2.3.4. Tighter lending criteria and affordable personal loans are underpinning demand for credit

2.3.5. The steadily rising household debt-to-income ratio will impact demand for credit

2.3.6. Improving consumer confidence will support demand for credit

2.4. Lloyds Banking Group is the market leader in personal loans


3.1. P2P lending will be the fastest-growing sector

3.2. The proliferation of alternative payment methods will impact credit card lending

3.3. Growth in motor finance is set to slow over the forecast period

3.4. Regulatory interventions will shake up the overdraft market

3.5. Online and POS finance availability will support retail finance growth

3.6. Home credit lending will grow at a marginal rate

3.7. Payday lending will contract over the forecast period

3.8. P2P lending will witness sustainable growth over the next few years


4.1. Creditspring offers interest-free loans

4.2. Tully provides digital debt management

4.3. Lendable provides quick and hassle-free loans

4.4. The Co-operative Bank opens loan marketplace in line with its ethical approach

4.5. Koyo aims to assist underbanked borrowers

4.6. SafetyNet offers flexible and convenient payday-style finance


5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

5.2. Definitions

5.2.1. Balances outstanding

5.2.2. Gross advances

5.2.3. Home credit

5.2.4. Payday loan

5.3. Methodology

5.3.1. Future Sentiment Index

5.4. Secondary sources

5.5. Further reading


List of Tables

Table 1: Consumer credit forecasts by product line (£m), 2019f-23f


List of Figures

Figure 1: Unsecured gross advances will grow by around 5-6% per year over the forecast period to reach £372.4bn by 2023

Figure 2: Credit availability is set to slow as supply tightened drastically in 2018-19

Figure 3: Stricter credit scoring criteria have contributed to improved credit quality

Figure 4: Credit card debt write-offs declined by £67m in Q3 2019

Figure 5: In 13 out of the last 15 quarters, providers reported increasing default rates for other unsecured lending

Figure 6: Lenders reported a decline in consumer demand for credit in three of the last five quarters

Figure 7: The UK’s non-mortgage debt has remained steady at 13% since 2016

Figure 8: With the number of middle-income jobs shrinking, some borrowers may end up in lower-skilled work with lower incomes

Figure 9: Retail sales contracted in December 2019

Figure 10: The cost of borrowing has plateaued in recent years

Figure 11: The household debt-to-income ratio will peak at around 150% at the end of the forecast period

Figure 12: The cost for households of servicing this debt is much lower than during the recession

Figure 13: Consumer confidence picked up towards the end of 2019

Figure 14: Santander climbed from fourth to second over the review period

Figure 15: Unsecured consumer credit gross advances will total £372.4bn by 2023

Figure 16: Low-interest balance transfers and interest-free periods help drive credit card uptake

Figure 17: New car registrations fell 12% from £2.6bn in 2016 to £2.3bn in 2018

Figure 18: After a dip in 2019, motor finance sector growth will expand across the forecast period

Figure 19: The overdraft market is currently causing significant harm to vulnerable customers

Figure 20: New regulatory proposals will simplify and standardize the way banks charge for overdrafts

Figure 21: Changes in consumer behavior and recent regulations will affect the provision of overdrafts

Figure 22: Retail finance will witness steady growth averaging 8.9% per annum over the next few years

Figure 23: The home credit market will record an average growth of 3.2% over the forecast period

Figure 24: Payday lending will decline by -11.4% per annum over the forecast period

Figure 25: Annual P2P lending will climb to £2.3bn by 2023

Figure 26: Creditspring borrowers pay a monthly subscription fee rather than interest on its loans

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