FICO UK Credit Card Market Report: November 2022

Increased spend and careful credit management kick in for the festive season, but cardholders with two missed continued to rise

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Customer Development

LONDON, 24 January 2022 –

FICO’s latest report of UK card trends — for November 2022 — suggests that consumers managed their credit card debt to keep lines of credit open for the festive season as spend increased month on month. However, a continuing trend in those missing two or three payments will be a concern for lenders.

Highlights 

  • Average total sales in November reversed the downward trend seen over the previous few months, to be 1.9 percent higher than October 2022 at £755
  • The percentage of payments to balance dropped by 2.8 percent in November, suggesting continued pressure on disposable income
  • Accounts missing one payment dropped by 4.2 percent
  • Year-on-year there were 14.8 percent more accounts with two missed payments and 10.3 percent more accounts with three missed payments
  • The reliance on credit cards for cash withdrawals dropped, month-on-month, by 10.4 percent

FICO comment

Analysis of the largest consortium of UK cards data shows that November was a mixed story when it came to credit card spend and debt management. On one hand, typical festive spending was evident; but there were also signs that those already struggling to manage financial commitments were further stressed. 

The percentage of cardholders missing one payment decreased for the second month in a row, although it is 9 percent higher than 2021. But there has also been an increasing trend since May 2022 for customers missing two payments and since June 2022 for those missing three payments.

Year on year the trend will also be a concern to lenders, with a 14.8 percent increase for those missing two payments since November 2021. This is likely to be driven by a combination of the exhaustion of savings built up during the pandemic, increasing interest rates and continued high levels of inflation. Going back to November 2019 — pre-pandemic — the percentage of customers missing one, two and three payments was higher than it is now. However, it is important to note that the average balance of two and three missed payments was lower three years ago.

Another sign of financial pressure is the percentage of payments to balance. This dropped again in November by 2.8 percent to 39.3 percent, and is down 1.5 percent year on year. This measure is expected to keep dropping as consumers’ savings reduce and cost-of-living pressures are expected to continue well into 2023.

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 November 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. 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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