News & Views - Savantor

Bad debt on the rise

Friday, 15 May 2009

On the basis that what happens in the USA today happens in the UK tomorrow it is not heartening to read about the increase in bad debt being seen by the major US credit card issuers. Credit card losses are soaring to unprecedented levels as unemployment rises, and cardholders struggle to make ends meet. From credit card write offs in the region of 5.5% in 2008, write-offs have shot up to 8.5% in Q1 of this year. Banks are doing their best to limit losses by tightening application approval criteria, cancelling unused card accounts, and reducing available credit limits. At the current rate, credit lines could be reduced by half compared to the available card credits only two years ago.

HSBC could see bad debt provision in consumer finance rise to more than £3.25bn for Q1 2009, up from just over £2bn for the same period in 2008 and most of this is to allow for card losses. Trading updates from Barclays, RBS and Lloyds all highlighted rising bad debt charges.

In September last year we commented on this emerging trend when spend on credit cards was the highest since March 2004 with a particular high in the food and drink spend. The number of cash disbursements on credit cards also rose sharply in August by 40%. Whilst this seemed like good news for credit card issuers it seems that it may have been an indication that cardholders were falling back on credit cards to buy more everyday items because households were feeling the pinch from the recession. If this is now more apparent in the UK market then Collections departments will see a dramatic increase in workloads as the year progresses.

Savantor Services

Savantor Services

Savantor services are tailored to Client needs based on our core service areas

Specialist Resourcing Payments Strategy Platform Transition Operational Efficiency
Savantor Services

Job Opportunities

Consulting and contracting roles in the payments, mobile and banking arena within the UK and across Europe

View more
Savantor Services

Savantor Views

Find out more from our Savantor brochures, MarketEye back copies and Industry opinion

Collateral Market Eye News & Views Sign Up to receive MarketEye

Client Quotes

Credit Risk Review for New Product Launch

"We needed expert help at short notice and Savantor were very impressive in their response and knowledge. The results were very clear and useful, enabling us to quickly make good progress on the next steps."

Sami Karhunen, Head of Business Intelligence and SME Sales - Point Transaction Systems Oy - Finland

Platform Selection & RFP Management

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantor in both acquiring and issuing for platform/service provider research, RFI/RFP processes and subsequent contract negotiations. Savantor's approach and commitment have always been very professional and transparent. They have been of great help for the company in providing us important insights and background information beyond vendors sales speeches."

Kai Lindstrom, Head of Acquiring - OP-Services Ltd - Finland

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

Complex Cards Business Transformation

"This was a major business transformation that required us to build an excellent team made up of internal bank specialists, supported by external card business, technical and operations expertise. Savantor provided specialists from the local market and with international experience to fill a variety of important roles. The Savantor resourcing team are professional, reliable and good people to work with."

Ricardo Gomez, Director - Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank - Spain

Card Migration

"I was impressed by the speed with which the Savantor team were able to start delivering and as a team they have made a significant contribution to the success of the Programme."

Bjorn Niels, Programme Director - ABN AMRO Bank - The Netherland

Interchange Review

"Savantor did a superb job in confirming what we believed was an area of weakness. The detail we now have will enable us to agree internally what we need to do to improve structure, control and income. Nationwide management were very impressed with the quality of the Savantor team."

Adam Slater, Senior Manager - Banking - Nationwide Building Society - UK

Credit Card Migration and Operational Support

"The bank has undergone significant transformation of its card business on both the issuing and acquiring sides. One business partner we have looked to for support in the areas of strategy, major project leadership, management analysis and ongoing business support is Savantor. The Savantor team has contributed to our success as we have leveraged their deep industry knowledge and broad range of operational skills."

Sean Sheehan, Service Management Director - Bank of Ireland

Payments Workshop Material

"Savantor helped ACI build a payments onboarding workshop for new technical staff in ACI EMEA. Their extensive experience took our outline and built a great starting presentation of industry facts that we have now customised further into a half day session that is used for all new joiners. Our Americas and APAC regions have also taken the material and customised it for their regions. A great job by Savantor has meant new joiners to ACI hit the ground running."

Richard Sanders, Principal Solution Consultant - ACI - Worldwide EMEA

Clients - Request Support

Send us a support request and one of our specialists will be in contact to assist you.

Consultants – Upload your CV

Register your CV with us and gain access to a range of job opportunities through our online job search portal.