This is the blog of British investigative journalist Jason Lewis.
It features articles from my time as Investigations Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and Whitehall and Security Editor of the Mail on Sunday.
I specialise in writing on intelligence and security matters, human and civil rights and the activities of the British State.
Thursday, 13 June 2013
High Cost Loans: The high cost lending companies
Get the data: The high cost lending companies
June 13th, 2013 | by Jason Lewis | Published by Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The growing consumer credit industry. (Image: Balance sheet via Shutterstock.com)
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has examined the financial health of the top 50 high cost lending companies to reveal an industry with revenues over £1bn a year.
The data reveals that the top 12 companies, many of them charging interest rates over 4,000%, have a combined turnover of nearly £1bn and that seven of the companies where accounts are available have tripled their revenues in the past 12 months.
The Bureau analysed the accounts of the top companies operating in this fast growing sector where these were available. Most companies in the top 20 file full accounts at Companies House. Many of the smaller companies only report limited financial detail. In these cases we have used turnover estimates compiled by Duedil, which provides a financial analysis service, in order to rank the companies.
The list of the 50 companies used was compiled after consultation with industry experts.
Many of the companies in the research offer payday loans, a term used to refer to a short term, high cost loan, regardless of whether the payment is linked to a borrower’s pay day. Others include short term and high-risk lenders that charge high rates of interest.