With customer demand not dropping off even in the face of high interest rates and fears over unemployment, one payday advance firm’s chief executive has recently said that he expects rapid growth in the instant short term loans industry in the UK.
Jorma Jokela, chief executive of Ferratum, said that the cash loans company is expecting a substantial increase in its UK numbers for 2012. Mr Jokela added that consumers are either unwilling or unable to approach traditional sources of credit, such as banks, for loans, something the micro-lender was counting on for increased market activity.
Launched in 2005, Ferratum, which is headquartered in Finland, is the largest of its kind in Europe, according t Mr Jokela, who owns a majority share. The firm won several thousand new customers in the UK last month, due to the traditional festive shopping season and the need for Brits to take on instant short term loans in order to finance their Christmas gift giving.
Applications increased by a factor of four from November into December, Ferratum said, while its 2010 figure of 650,000 customers increased to 1.1 million this past year. Ferratum hopes to reach in excess of 10 million customers over the next two years through not only its core European market but operations around the globe in all five continents.
Ferratum turned a profit last year, according to Jokela, as pre-tax percentage figures were in the double digits. Launching in July of last year in the UK, Ferratum has around 100,000 Brits as customers, but Mr Jokela expects the industry-wide figure to rise as high as 3.5 million this year, up from its 2011 figure of 2 million.