In the UK, credit cards have been the first consumer credit product to really feel the pressure in 2005, according to the 'UK Personal Lending 2005: Half Year Update' report, available from Research and Markets.
Poor retail sales figures and weak consumer confidence as the housing market has declined are what the authors blame most for the marked slowdown in credit card spending.
However, Egg, Northern Rock, and AA Financial Services were all outstanding performers in the personal loans market in 2004, growing their loan books well in excess of the market average, while HSBC's acquisition of M&S has also boosted its share of the market.
While the personal loans sector has been fairly slow at product innovation in recent years, the report's authors note a number of new marketing and product ideas introduced in 2005 (such as Zopa's innovative approach to personal lending, A&L's Moneyback Bank offering, and Barclaycards combined credit card and personal loan).
This latest briefing is a half-yearly update to the main UK Personal Lending 2005 report, which was created to keep UK lenders informed about developments that shape the market. It provides market sizing figures for the UK consumer credit market by product line, and analyses industry trends for the first half of 2005. It offers scenario-based forecasts for the future of the consumer credit market and also details market shares for year-end 2004 for leading personal loan providers.