Credit lender Morses Club sees strong demand despite the pandemic

Credit lender Morses Club said it has seen a steady increase in customer demand in both its Home Collected Credit (HCC) and digital divisions, despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Morses Club CEO Paul Smith
Morses Club CEO Paul Smith

The Batley-based firm said investment in technology has developed its services in line with evolving customer needs.

It said that further platform development is underway for its current account product, which should positively impact planned volume growth in the second half of the year.

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Customer numbers in the digital division for short-term and long-term lending products have risen 40 per cent, with total loan book balances increasing by 99 per cent relative to the 2021 year-end position.

New credit issued is 33 per cent above management’s budgeted plan, with collections performance also ahead of budget, indicating the increase in lending volume is not directly reducing the quality of the loan book.

In a trading statement covering its first quarter, from March 1 to May 31, the group said the significant increase in both demand and volume for longer and shorter-term digital lending products has led to the lengthening of the maturity profile of the loan book.

As a result of the changes to its HCC service model to cater for customer demands due to Covid-19, 66 per cent of all HCC lending is now cashless and over 70 per cent of customers are registered for the online customer portal.

Customer numbers at the end of May were 144,000. Morses Club said a strong collections performance meant it was 118 per cent ahead of the same period last year.

Total new credit issued within HCC is 16 per cent ahead of its budgeted plan, despite the impact of lockdown activity across the UK. HCC impairment charges are expected to remain within the guidance range and customer satisfaction for the HCC division is at 98 per cent.

Paul Smith, chief executive of Morses Club, said: “Despite the continued impact of the pandemic, trading performance across all of our lending products has been very strong in the first quarter of FY22.

"This encouraging start to the year has been achieved through standout delivery from all our teams and agents and continues the group’s strong momentum from the second half of last year.

“Our focus on becoming a leading provider of financial products and services for our target customers is unrelenting. The success of the remodelling of our services to meet the needs of customers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic has made us all the more determined to become sector-leading in terms of meeting customer demand, and to continue to listen to our customers and key stakeholders to help shape our business for long term success.

“The importance of a technology-led offering has never been clearer. Our investment and focus on ensuring our service model adapts to changing customer needs, whilst maintaining our core ethos of putting the customer at the heart of what we do, is central to our success as a group.”