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Consumer lending rises but not on the high street

Consumer lending rises but not on the high street

Category: Money

Updated: 30/11/2011
First Published: 30/11/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Consumer lending rose in September, but not on the high street, figures from the Financial and Leasing Association (FLA) show.

More than £4.9 billion was lent to consumers during the month – a rise of 3% on September 2010.

But people shunned store cards and store instalment cards, with borrowing falling by 15% and 11% respectively.

Just last week the Government stated its intention to shake up the store card market.

Under the new rules, stores will no longer be allowed to offer instant discounts on products if customers sign up to the cards, which can charge interest of up to 30%.

Shop assistants will no longer earn commission for getting people to sign up to store cards.

Shoppers who do agree to take a store card will have a seven day cooling off period in which they can cancel their agreement.

Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer finance at the FLA, said the new rules could have a positive effect.

"We hope that High Street sales will be helped by last week's agreement with the Government on store cards, which provides new protections for customers while preserving the advantages of this way of making High Street purchases," she commented.

Away from store cards, lending on credit cards and personal loans rose by 1% to £2.7 billion during the month.

The biggest increases were in evidence in the car finance and second-charge mortgage markets which saw lending rise by 8% to £1.7 billion and 7% to £29 million in September compared with the same month last year.

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