HITACHI Personal Finance today launches its first direct assault on the UK consumer market with a range of personal loans.
The Leeds-based business is best known for providing point of sale credit via third parties such as retailers DFS, B&Q and Wickes.
The Japanese-owned company hopes to shake up the personal loans market and provide a better deal for customers.
Personal loans can be taken over a period of six months to five years have a representative APR of 5.4 per cent – with one in 10 customers expected to get a better rate than the one advertised.
Gerald Grimes, managing director, said: “We’re not a bank and we felt it was time borrowers with a whiter than white credit history had the chance to get a better deal and that’s what we’re giving them.
“We’re the first to offer rates better than those advertised to the one in 10 customers with the best credit history.
“Other providers advertise a rate, give it to the majority of borrowers and charge the rest of their customers more than the rate advertised.”
The company said applicants get an instant online decision and the money can be in accounts in 24 hours.
Hitachi is also the only personal loans provider to have teamed up with Ffrees to offer its customers a free savings account which “saves up as you spend”.
Savings are available from a wide range of household names including Waitrose, lastminute.com and B&Q.
Hitachi Personal Finance, which has been operating in the UK for more than 30 years, lends more than £1bn a year to more than five million UK customers.