The growing consumer credit industry. (Image: Balance sheet via Shutterstock.com)
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has examined the financial health of the top 50 high cost lending companies to reveal an industry with revenues over £1bn a year.
The data reveals that the top 12 companies, many of them charging interest rates over 4,000%, have a combined turnover of nearly £1bn and that seven of the companies where accounts are available have tripled their revenues in the past 12 months.
Related story: Revealed – The £1billion payday loan industry
The Bureau analysed the accounts of the top companies operating in this fast growing sector where these were available. Most companies in the top 20 file full accounts at Companies House. Many of the smaller companies only report limited financial detail. In these cases we have used turnover estimates compiled by Duedil, which provides a financial analysis service, in order to rank the companies.
The list of the 50 companies used was compiled after consultation with industry experts.
Many of the companies in the research offer payday loans, a term used to refer to a short term, high cost loan, regardless of whether the payment is linked to a borrower’s pay day. Others include short term and high-risk lenders that charge high rates of interest.