Personal Loans - Ireland - April 2010
Merger and acquisition activity, stringent credit standards and fewer lenders offering loans has reduced supply of loans, resulting in weak competition and higher lending rates.
Consequently, unsecured loans have become less competitive compared to overdrafts, credit cards and MEW.
Recession and rising unemployment have contributed to lower consumer confidence and lower demand for all forms of credit.
With the end of the downturn in sight, the labour market stabilising and early signs of consumer confidence returning, demand for loans is likely to increase but, despite government intervention, supply side pressures are expected to persist in the medium term as a result of liquidity concerns, especially in RoI.
The market for consumer loans is quite specific, typically nesters (part-time working women, aged 35-44, living as married) and debt loaders (16-24-year-old men working full-time). Targeting these groups, however, is increasingly niche with overdrafts, credit cards and MEW becoming progressively more attractive alternatives.
While market conditions for personal loans will return to more normal levels over the next two years, it is highly unlikely the market will return to pre-credit crunch levels.
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