FICO UK Credit Card Market Report: June-August 2022

Erratic consumer behaviour over the summer months illustrates challenging conditions for lenders

Release Documentation
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Surveys & Market Data

LONDON, 12 October 2022 – 

Highlights 

  • Average total sales were £790 in June and July and £810 in August – a more than 14 percent increase year on year for the three months
  • The increase in the average balance for accounts with one and two missed payments continued in June and July, although it levelled out in August; this will still be a red flag for lenders
  • Cash sales on credit cards increased by 6.7 percent in June and 3.4 percent in July – another worrying trend for lenders

FICO’s report of UK card trends for summer 2022 (June-August) paints a picture of inconsistent consumer behaviour which will be challenging for lenders to manage as the cost-of-living crisis takes hold.

FICO comment

Analysis of the largest consortium of UK cards data shows the percentage of consumers using their credit card to take out cash steadily increasing over the three months – a clear indicator of financial stress as the interest charged for cash on credit cards is always higher than standard purchases.

Total average sales on credit cards also increased across the summer. With media reports suggesting consumers have been reducing their spending in response to the cost-of-living crisis, this uplift in spend on credit cards illustrates the increasing reliance on credit rather than disposable income or savings. The average active balance on credit cards is now at its highest for over two years.

The percentage of payments to balance also reflects the pattern of inconsistency seen through the earlier months of the year. In June it dropped by 3 percent month on month; in July it increased by 1.7 percent and then in August it dropped again by 1.8 per cent.

The percentage of missed payments also sends confusing messages for lenders. In June cardholders missing one payment remained almost static, but in July it increased by 2.2 per cent and in August dropped by 4.6 per cent compared to the previous month.  However, the percentage of cardholders missing two or three payments increased steeply in August compared to July by 8.5 percent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

This suggests that cardholders who miss more than one payment may not have the funds to catch up and are struggling with over indebtedness. There is also evidence that the percentage of cardholders spending over their credit limit has been slowly trending upwards since March. This could be another signal that some cardholders are over-indebted.

Lenders can use segmentation analysis on their portfolios to ensure that their web and mobile applications encourage consumers in distress to make contact at the first indications of difficulty, and to consider establishing special payment plans for those struggling to stay on top.  

Key Trend Indicators - UK Cards June 2022

Key Trend Indicators - UK Cards July 2022

Key Trend Indicators - UK Cards August 2022

The Data Charts

Average UK Credit Card Spend

Average Balance and % Payments to Balance UK Credit Cards

These card performance figures are part of the data shared with subscribers of the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service produced by FICO® Advisors, the business consulting arm of FICO. The data sample comes from client reports generated by the FICO® TRIAD® Customer Manager solution in use by some 80 percent of UK card issuers.

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For further comment on the FICO UK Credit Card activity contact: 
FICO UK PR Team 
Wendy Harrison/Parm Heer/Matthew Enderby 
ficoteam@harrisonsadler.com 
0208 977 9132

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