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Consumer finance 'key to economic growth'

Consumer finance new business has grown by 7% in October compared with the same month in 2013, and by 11% in the 12 months to October 2014, according to the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).

Credit cards and personal loans new business grew by 2% in October compared with October 2013, while retail store and online credit grew by 6% in the same period. Point-of-sale car finance also grew by 16%.

Head of consumer finance at the FLA Fiona Hoyle, said: “Consumer finance has played a key role in supporting economic growth, by helping households make essential purchases. Forecasts suggest this will continue in 2015, with gross consumer lending increasing by 3.3% compared with 2014.”

“It has been a challenging year, as consumer finance providers got used to a new regulator and a new rulebook, but they have maintained the supply of responsibly-provided credit.”

Not only that, figures also show a 14% growth in consumer new car finance volumes in October, compared with the same month last year, while consumer used car finance volumes grew by 9% over the same period.

The percentage of private new car sales financed through dealerships by FLA members reached a new record high of 75.9% in the twelve months to October.

Head of research and chief economist at the FLA, Geraldine Kilkelly, said: “Both markets are heading for record years, with almost 2.0 million cars likely to be bought by consumers on finance provided through dealerships in 2014 as a whole.”

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