Published: March 2023
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UK Non-Prime Consumer Credit Market Insight Report 2023

Includes sub-prime and near-prime credit
NB 2023 report to be published later in March. Clients who purchase now will receive the old version immediately and the new one as soon as it is finalised.

About the report

Our review of the non-prime, or high-interest, consumer credit market describes the market for consumer credit agreements with average fixed interest rates over 30% per year, and profiles the main lenders involved in it. It includes:

    – Review of each of the segments in the market (see below)

    – Discussion of key segment issues including the impact of regulation, and sets out our estimates of historical and forecast growth for each.
    – A set of 40 lender profiles of those active in the sector, covering financial performance, ownership, loan products offered, market positioning, corporate activity and history of the lender.

We cover the following segments and lenders operating within them:

    – Guarantor finance (key providers include AAmigo Loans, with Non-Standard Finance’s Trust Two and George Banco brands in run-off)
    – High cost short term credit (following the exit of the majority of the largest firms, key providers include Gain Credit, PDL Finance and DJS)
    – Home-collected credit (following Provident’s decision to leave the market, key providers include Morses Club and Non-Standard Finance)
    – Instalment credit (key providers include Non-Standard Finance’s Everyday Loans, Madison CF’s 118118 loans, Oakbrook Finance, Darwin and Oplo)
    – Motor finance (key providers include S&U plc’s Advantage, Provident’s Moneybarn, First Response and Startline)
    – Sub-prime credit card and other revolving loans (key providers include CapitalOne, NewDay and Provident’s Vanquis)
    – Pawn broking (key providers include H&T Group and Ramsdens Financial)
    – Logbook loans (key providers Greenlight Credit with Norfolk Capital’s Mobile Money and Loans2Go having stopped lending)
    – Rent-to-own (following the exit of Brighthouse, key providers include Temple Finance and Mutual)

Many of the leading providers and their investors are now involved in more than one segment

We estimate total loan receivables across the market to have been just under £10bn at the end of 2020, a modest fall from a year preivously.

  • Average loan durations vary by segment from under 3 months to 30 months.
  • Loan impairment levels vary by segment from 10% to 35% of gross loans.
  • Average interest rates vary by segment from 30% fixed to 260% fixed


Following several years of double-digit growth, the market was flat between 2018 and 2019, and then decreased slightly in 2020 following suspension of new lending during the early stages of the Covid pandemic. Key changes to the market in 2020 and early 2021 include:

  • Guarantor lending remained suspended due to FCA interventions
  • Motor finance and instalment loans continued relatively strong growth
  • There was a shift towards instalment loans, away from high cost short term credit, guarantor and home credit segments, reflecting regulatory pressures, home credit providers being unable to visit customers during the lockdown periods and consumer preference
  • Among higher cost providers (those with APRs of 50% of more) there has been a trend towards lower rates and smaller initial loan sizes, which we believe is to help address regulatory concerns

Given these trends, only motor finance and instalment loans have grown over the last three years with sub-prime credit cards being broadly flat, while other parts of the market have reduced in size. More changes are seen from new lending rather than receivables figures

The macroeconomic picture supports ongoing demand:

  • Forecasts are for unemployment to remain at similar levels with significant under-employment (those in work who want to work more hours than they currently do).
  • After a significant increase this year, real wages are expected to be flat for the next two years followed by much more modest increases.
  • Financial Conduct Authority regulation of consumer credit, together with Financial Ombudsman judgements based on compliance with FCA rules, remains a key constraint on growth.
    Our forecasts are for instalment loans and motor finance to account for most of the overall growth in the non-prime market with some recovery in other segments including guarantor and rent-to-own.
    Our expectations for individual segments are set out within the report.


    Other factors which have influenced the growth of the market, and which are analysed in the report, include:

    • General economic performance which influences the appetite of consumers for borrowing and also their ability to repay loans they take out
    • Overall consumer borrowing as, with many non-prime borrowers seeking to borrow for reasons similar to those of mainstream borrowers and availability of finance for both being subject to similar influences, demand for non-prime credit is likely to follow a similar trend to that of overall lending.
    • Levels of unemployment and underemployment, which affect the number of people who are in a position to obtain both non-prime and mainstream credit, as well as ability to repay loans
    • Trends in earnings from wages and benefits, which show that, while wages have grown in recent years, the government’s austerity agenda has led to significant working-age benefit cuts and that debt levels are high relative to earnings
    • Other workforce trends, such as self-employment and trade union membership, which show an increase in the precariousness of the labour force and a weakening of the ability of organised labour to increase wages
    • Trends in housing costs and affordability
    • Reduction in the number of bank branches and credit cards in circulation, which give some indication of reduced access to mainstream finance.
    • Personal insolvency levels, which remain high by historical standards
    • Rises in other measures of poverty such as food bank usage and rough sleeping levels, which confirm that the numbers in extreme poverty – who are likely to struggle to repay loans – are increasing


    Who is the report intended for?

    Operators of of non-prime businesses themselves
    Investors in these businesses
    Market regulators and policymakers
    Banks, analysts, consultants and other parties with interests in the sector

    What are the sources and methodology?

    Interviews with senior-level contacts in the consumer credit industry
    In-depth analysis of the macroeconomic environment and relevant market drivers
    Financial analysis of the accounts of companies in the industry
    Information from these sources has been synthesised and presented clearly and concisely with extensive use of charts and tables to illuminate points and support conclusions
    Market forecasts have been constructed using simple assumptions which are clearly stated. Supporting evidence is provided for our assumptions but readers can flex them where required to model alternative scenarios.


    Who was the report written by?

    Frank Proud

    • Frank founded Apex Insight in 2012 and set up our Consumer Credit practice
    • His background is strategy consulting, with two firms, Bridgewater and Burlington, which were originally founded by ex-Bain teams.
    • Subsequently, he was a senior member of the Transaction Support team at EY, advising private equity firms and corporate acquirers on commercial due diligence and other acquisition-related issues.
    • He leads Apex Insight’s consulting work for investors and clients in the industry
    • He has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University.

    Julian Rose

    • Julian is a specialist in the regulation of asset finance markets including business leasing and consumer credit.
    • From 2008 to 2014 Julian was Head of Asset Finance at the Finance & Leasing Association.
    • His previous experience spans regulation with the Financial Reporting Council and Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority), management consulting with PwC and KPMG, and industry with NCR and UPS.
    • He is a Chartered Management Accountant and has Masters Degrees in Management from Boston University and Competition and Regulation from the University of East Anglia

    About this report 2
    Summary 5
    Contents 9
    Non-prime consumer credit market 17
    Definition 17
    Number of non-prime consumers 18
    Non-prime consumer credit market segments 19
    Market growth 20
    Non-prime consumer credit segments 22
    1. Guarantor Finance 22
    Definition 22
    Key players 22
    Sector size 22
    Sector trends 22
    2. High Cost Short Term Credit (HCSTC) 23
    Definition 23
    Key players 23
    Sector size and trends 23
    Insight: Price cap makes traditional payday loans unprofitable 24
    3. Home-collected Credit 25
    Definition 25
    Key players 25
    Sector size 25
    Sector trends 25
    Source: Apex Insight analysis 25
    4. Instalment Credit 26
    Definition 26
    Key players 26
    Sector size 26
    Sector trends 26
    5. Motor finance 27
    Definition 27
    Significant players 27
    Sector size and trends 27
    Sector trends 27
    Insight: Non-prime credit accounts for small part of car finance market 28
    6. Credit cards and other revolving Loans 29
    Definition 29
    Key players 29
    Sector size 29
    Sector trends 29
    7. Pawnbroking 30
    Definition 30
    Significant players 30
    Sector size 30
    Sector trends 30
    8. Logbook loans 31
    Definition 31
    Significant players 31
    Sector size 31
    Sector trends 31
    9. Rent-to-own 32
    Definition 32
    Significant players 32
    Sector size 32
    Sector trends 32
    Insight: Non-prime finance slowly departs the high street 33
    Alternatives 34
    Credit unions 34
    Community Development Finance Institutions 34
    Fintech solutions 34
    Government alternatives 34
    Unauthorised lenders 34
    Forecasts 35
    High Cost Short Term Credit (HCSTC) 36
    Home-collected credit 36
    Instalment credit including some second-charge mortgages 36
    Motor finance 36
    Credit card and other revolving loans 36
    Pawnbroking 36
    Logbook loans 36
    Rent-to-own 36
    Drivers of Non-Prime Credit Usage 37
    1. Economic growh 37
    2. Consumer borrowing 38
    3. Unemployment and underemployment 39
    4. Wage growth and the impact of benefit policies 40
    5. Levels of self-employment and trade union membership 42
    6. Housing costs 43
    7. Access to mainstream finance 44
    8. Personal insolvency and bankruptcy 45
    9. Other poverty indicators: food bank usage and rough sleeping 46
    Non-Prime Credit Regulation 48
    FCA regulation 48
    Insight: Affordability regulation is key to the market 49
    FOS complaints / losses 50
    Financial performance of lenders 52
    Productivity analysis 53
    Firms leaving non-prime consumer credit 54
    Major lenders (loan books >£20m) 55
    1st Stop 55
    Ownership 55
    Corporate activity 55
    Products 55
    Advantage Finance 56
    Ownership 56
    Corporate activity 56
    Products 56
    Recent information 56
    Amigo Loans 57
    Ownership 57
    Corporate activity 57
    Products 57
    Recent information 57
    Avant Credit 58
    Ownership 58
    Corporate activity 58
    Products 58
    Other information 58
    Bamboo 59
    Ownership 59
    Corporate activity 59
    Products 59
    Billing Finance 60
    Ownership 60
    Corporate activity 60
    Products 60
    Other information 60
    Blue Motor 61
    Ownership 61
    Corporate activity 61
    Products 61
    Recent information 61
    Capital One 62
    Ownership 62
    Products 62
    CashEuroNet UK (Enova) 63
    Ownership 63
    Corporate activity 63
    Products 63
    Other information 63
    Caversham Finance (Brighthouse) 64
    Ownership 64
    Corporate activity 64
    Products 64
    Recent information 64
    Darwin loan solutions (Evolution, Progressive) 65
    Ownership 65
    Corporate activity 65
    Products 65
    Recent information 65
    DJS (UK) 66
    Ownership 66
    Corporate activity 66
    Products 66
    Recent information 66
    Elevate Credit International (Sunny) 67
    Ownership 67
    Corporate activity 67
    Products 67
    Recent information 67
    First Response 68
    Ownership 68
    Corporate activity 68
    Products 68
    Other information 68
    Gain Credit 69
    Ownership 69
    Products 69
    H & T Group PLC (Harvey & Thompson) 70
    Ownership 70
    Corporate activity 70
    Products 70
    Other information 70
    Indigo Michael (Safety Net Credit) 71
    Ownership 71
    Corporate activity 71
    Products 71
    Madison CF UK (118 118 Money) 72
    Ownership 72
    Corporate activity 72
    Products 72
    Other information 72
    Marsh 73
    Financials 73
    Ownership 73
    Corporate activity 73
    Products 73
    Other information 73
    Morses Club 74
    Ownership 74
    Corporate activity 74
    Products 74
    Other information 74
    Mutual 75
    Ownership 75
    Corporate activity 75
    Products 75
    Other information 75
    MYJAR 76
    Financials 76
    Ownership 76
    Products 76
    Other information 76
    New Day 77
    Ownership 77
    Corporate activity 77
    Products 77
    Ownership 78
    Corporate activity 78
    Products 78
    Other information 78
    Norfolk Capital 79
    Ownership 79
    Corporate activity 79
    Products 79
    Other information 79
    Oakbrook Finance 80
    Ownership 80
    Corporate activity 80
    Products 80
    Other information 80
    Private & Commercial 81
    Ownership 81
    Corporate activity 81
    Products 81
    Provident 82
    Ownership 82
    Corporate activity 82
    Products 82
    Other information 82
    Startline 83
    Ownership 83
    Corporate activity 83
    Products 83
    Recent information 83
    Temple Finance 84
    Ownership 84
    Corporate activity 84
    Products 84
    Other information 84
    Other lenders (loan books £5m to £20m) 85
    Active Securities 85
    Cash on Go 85
    Ferratum UK 86
    Go Car Credit 86
    Greenlight Credit 87
    Instant Cash Loans 87
    Loans2Go 88
    Mallard Leasing 88
    PDL Finance 89
    Premium Plan 89
    Ramsdens Financial 90
    Speedloan Finance 90
    Think Money 91
    Uncle Buck Finance LLP 92
    Valour Finance 92

    List of charts and tables

    Non-prime net receivables by sector 2018 (£ million) 5
    Growth rates in non-prime receivables 2016-2018 (CAGR) 6
    Revenue by non-prime segment 2018 (£ million) 19
    New lending by non-prime segment 2018 (£ million) 19
    Net receivables by non-prime segment 2018 (£ million) 20
    Non-prime consumer credit net receivables - active firms (£ million) 20
    Non-prime receivables growth (2016-2018 CAGR %) 21
    Guarantor Finance sector key data December 2018 (estimates) 22
    HCSTC new lending value (£ billion) 23
    HCSTC Finance sector key data December 2018 (estimates) 23
    Summary of profitability of HCSTC loans 24
    Home Credit lenders revenue 25
    Home collected credit sector key data December 2018 (estimates) 25
    Instalment credit sector key data December 2018 (estimates) 26
    Motor finance sector key data December 2018 (estimates) 27
    Used car finance market shares by revenue, 2017 28
    Credit cards and other revolving loans sector key data December 2018 (estimates) 29
    Pawnbroking key data December 2018 (estimates) 30
    Logbook loans key data December 2018 (estimates) 31
    Rent-to-own key data December 2018 (estimates) 32
    Number of high street stores offering non-prime consumer credit 33
    Historical and forecast new non-prime lending by segment / £m 35
    Historical and forecast new lending by segment excluding credit cards/ £m 35
    UK real GDP / annual changes 37
    UK historical & forecast unsecured household debt / £bn 38
    Unemployment and underemployment / m 39
    Number of people in employment / m 39
    UK median earnings (current prices) / % annual change 40
    UK welfare spending by recipient segment / % of GDP 41
    UK household debt to income ratio 41
    UK self-employed workers / ‘000 42
    UK trade union membership / ‘000 42
    Ratio of median house price to median gross annual residence-based earnings (England and Wales) 43
    Number of UK bank branches 44
    Number of credit cards in issue / m, end of year 44
    Historical number of new personal insolvencies per year (England) / '000 45
    Food bank usage/ ‘000 parcels distributed by Trussell Trust 46
    Rough sleeping – England 47
    Key FCA regulatory requirements relevant to Non-Prime Consumer Credit 48
    Complaints handled by non-prime firms 50
    Complaints handled by Financial Ombudsman Service 50
    Volumes of new FOS complaints by product 51
    Profitability and loan provisions of leading firms 52
    Profitability and loan provisions of leading firms (excluding NewDay, Capital One) 52
    Net loan receivables per employee, CAGR 2016-18 53
    Non-prime consumer credit receivables (net of impairments) £ million 2017/8 54
    Key firms leaving market 54
    1st Stop Financials 55
    1st Stop Receivables / £m 55
    Advantage Finance Limited Financials 56
    Advantage Finance Limited Receivables / £m 56
    Amigo Loans Limited Summary Financials 57
    Amigo Loans plc Receivables / £m 57
    Bamboo Limited Summary Financials 59
    Bamboo Limited Loan Receivables / £m 59
    Billing Finance Limited Summary Financials 60
    Blue Auto Holdings Limited Summay Financials 61
    Capital One (Europe) PLC Summary Financials 62
    Capital One (Europe) PLC Loan Receivables / £m 62
    CashEuroNet UK Summary Financials 63
    Caversham Finance Limited Summary Financials 64
    Darwin Loan Solutions Limited Summary Financials 65
    Darwin Loan Solutions Limited Loan Receivables / £m 65
    DJS (UK) Limited Summary Financials 66
    DJS (UK) Limited Loan Receivables / £m 66
    Elevate Credit International Limited Summary Financials 67
    Elevate Credit International Loan Receivables / £m 67
    First Response Finance Limited Summary Financials 68
    First Response Finance Limited Loan Receivables / £m 68
    Gain Credit LLC Summary Financials 69
    Gain Credit LLC Loan Receivables / £m 69
    H&T Group Summary Financials 70
    Indigo Michael Limited Summary Financials 71
    Indigo Michael Limited Loan Receivables / £m 71
    First Response Finance Limited Summary Financials 72
    Madison CF UK Limited Loan Receivables / £m 72
    Morses Club plc Summary Financials 74
    Morses Club plc Loan Receivables / £m 74
    Mutual Clothing and Supply Company Limited Summary Financials 75
    Mutual Clothing and Supply Company Limited Loan Receivables / £m 75
    MyJar Limited Summary Financials 76
    NewDay Group (Jersey) Limited Summary Financials 77
    NewDay Group (Jersey) Limited Loan Receivables / £m 77
    Non-Standard Finance plc Summary Financials 78
    Non-Standard Finance Loan Receivables / £m 78
    UK Credit Limited and Mobile Money Limited Summary Financials 79
    UK Credit Limited and Mobile Money Limited Loan Receivables / £m 79
    Oakbrook Finance Limited Summary Financials 80
    Oakbrook Finance Loan Receivables / £m 80
    PCF Bank (Consumer Finance Division) Summary Financials 81
    Provident Financial Group PLC Summary Financials 82
    Provident Financial Group PLC Loan Receivables / £m 82
    Startline Motor Finance Limited and Startline Auto Receivables Limited Summary Financials 83
    Startline Auto Receivables Loan Receivables / £m 83
    Temple Finance Limited Summary Financials 84
    Temple Finance Limited Loan Receivables / £m 84

      To talk to us directly about the report, or to ask a specific question, please telephone: +44 20 7100 7239


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