The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) says figures for the first quarter of the year show that the consumer credit industry is showing signs of a “gradual improvement”.
Total consumer finance provided by FLA members grew by 9% in March, compared with March 2011.
Credit cards, personal loans, store instalment credit, second mortgages and car finance all showed a rise in March, and in Q1 as a whole, compared with the same periods in 2011. The strongest growth was in the car finance market, which was up by 20% on Q1 the previous year.
Fiona Hoyle, FLA head of consumer finance, said: “Our figures show a slight rise in most markets, which suggests that consumer confidence is showing signs of a tentative return. But many consumers continue to be cautious, reinforcing the need for the government to make sure that their proposed changes to consumer credit regulation do not limit the supply of affordable, responsibly-provided credit.”