Directory firm 118 118 are moving into the personal loans business, as many consumers continue to feel the adverse impact of the economic downturn.
Paul Noble, chief operations officer of the newly founded 118 118 Money, has announced that loans of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be made available for up to two years. The company is one in an increasingly long line that are making the most of changes to consumer lending laws, as short term loans become less accessible. As such, Mr Noble wants 118 118 loans to be seen as unique in what has been seen as a much relied upon market.
In addition to this, they are offering the option of discussing loan options and credit agreements with customer service operatives, as opposed to just utilising an online system. Ostensibly a defence against fraudulent activity, the personalisation is also intended to be a major selling point in persuading consumers that 118 118 money is a trustworthy source of financial help.
Already very successful in their better known business guise of directory enquiries, the group is hoping to add to the momentum of profit building begun in 2002. Since BT’s monopolisation of the sector was questioned, 118 118 has become a market leader, currently holding an 80% share of the market.
With the credit industry still benefitting from the crisis of 2008, hopes are seemingly high that 118 118 Money will succeed. Non-executive director of the company, Mark Mayhew, said: “Five years on from the credit crunch, lending remains less accessible than it should be,” and he suggested that the new branch of the already established company could be the stop gap before approaching banks or building societies.
However, with signs of economic improvement, it remains to be seen whether 118 118 Money has missed the boat when it comes to cashing in on credit.