Consumers turn to credit cards to boost everyday spending

According to research published by GK Strategy (www.gkstrategy.com) and onefourzero Group, consumer credit is no longer the last resort for people in desperate need of financial support. “Research shows that consumers across the UK increasingly see controllable debt as a way to maintain their spending power and pay for everyday items rather than just luxuries or holidays and Christmas presents,” says Robin Grainger, Co-Founder and CEO at GK Strategy .  “In particular, people in the South of England rely on credit cards to maintain their day-to-day spending habits, whereas Northerners’ prefer overdrafts.

Meanwhile the majority of people looking for overdrafts were based in the North and the Midlands, with people from Newcastle searching for them the most.

 

Commenting of the figures, Fleur Hicks, Chief Executive at onefourzero Group (www.onefourzerogroup.com) says, “Our findings reflect local environments, with unemployment hotspots such as Newcastle seeing the largest demand for overdrafts, while the more affluent commuter belt around London preferring credit cards. “Credit use is rising, with demand for overdrafts rising by 46% in November 2017 compared to the same time the year before. Credit providers will no doubt been keen to cater to this need for further products, but should be aware that financial regulators are also focusing in on the sector.”

 

At the end of last year, the Treasury select committee launched an enquiry into consumer debt and the treatment of vulnerable customers by banks.  The increasing normalization of debt for everyday purposes means credit providers could come under increased regulatory scrutiny, and have to prove they take a customer’s overall ‘financial health’ into account when selling them a product.