The personal loan business is an 'industry in waiting' for the moment. All the main high street banks and direct lenders are hanging on for the anticipated rate cut, expected to come by late spring.
The Bank of England this month kept its main interest rate unchanged at 6% as it has done for a year.
An unexpected rate cut in the US market caused a flurry of excitement early in January but few domestic analysts are predicting the Bank of England will follow the downward trend immediately. The UK economy is fairly stable and does not need a boost just yet but there are clear signs the next move will be down.
Direct lenders will try to anticipate the move in order to gain the marketing advantage. It is certainly true loan rates always fall faster than savings rates climb, allowing the banks to attract new customers and make extra cash on each rate change.
The direct lenders will also try to take full advantage of the pent-up demand for cars and for the plate change in March. Tesco has recently restocked its till dispensers with X-plate car loan leaflets and will make a switch to Y-plate shortly.
So, expect several 'special car loan' rates to appear over the next few weeks. These will represent around 0.5% discount over other personal loan rates but may attract extra conditions, such as loan protection insurance.
Dealers must ensure locally advertised rates are attractive against national, high street banks or risk losing more business. All the evidence is that customers are now more aware of rate than ever before.
|HIGH STREET LENDERS (36-MONTH LOANS)|
|Loan Amount||Lender||APR||Monthly Repayment
|Source: Automotive Management|