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Consumer spending rises on UK cards

In today’s environment, even moderately good economic news needs to be celebrated. FICO just released card performance data from December 2011 that shows average sales per UK-issued card rose to a two-year high of just over £600.

As reported in our news release, average card sales in December 2011 were highest for premium cards at £758.71, which was just below the last peak, in December 2010. For Irish cards the figure was £593.81, for classic cards it was £537.93, and for student cards it was £283.87. The classic and student card figures were also a two-year high, while the Irish cards sales were the highest since September 2010.

UK Card Data Dec 2011
Source: FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service.

Higher card sales could be a good sign or bad sign, depending on the payments picture. That’s why it’s encouraging that the same data snapshot shows more UK cardholders are current in their card payments than at any point since early 2010. In December 2011, 93.7% of all UK card accounts were current, and the percentages of borrowers delinquent fell across the board, in 1 cycle, 2 cycles, 3 cycles and 4 cycles.

If you’re a card issuer in the UK, you should check out the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service, which delivers not only industry metrics like these — based on 26 million accounts, about half of all credit cards issued in the UK — but also a comparison of those benchmarks against your own portfolio’s performance. For greater insight, you can even drill into the data by vintage of accounts.

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