Moneyway revenues rose 16% to £47.1m in 2017, parent Secure Trust Bank has reported in its first full-year results since moving out of subprime consumer finance.
The company reported new business of £142.8m for the year, 2.8% lower than in 2016. Impairment losses increased 42% to £20.8, which Moneyway attributed to higher provisions for the legacy subprime portfolio. In 2016, the company had seen impairments double year-on-year.
“The last two years have seen increased competition in the motor finance arena with several companies competing in the same segments of the market. This resulted in the group receiving poorer quality customers and higher than expected impairments,” Moneyway said, adding that in 2017 it allotted increased resources to debt management and collection.
Chief executive Paul Lynam said: “Given the ongoing regulatory focus in the unsecured personal loan and high cost credit markets, I feel our retrenchment from these markets was well timed even if the repositioning has created a drag on profit growth.
“During 2017 all lenders operating in the sub‐prime market reported a trend of increasing impairments. These trends would appear to vindicate our decision to exit sub‐prime motor finance.”
The bank cited concerns expressed by the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, saying that “the group shares these concerns, perceiving there to be a mispricing of risk, and has reacted accordingly by exiting markets most affected”.
“As a consequence, the group is not exposed to the majority of the issues highlighted by the regulators,” it added.
Moneyway said it stopped lending to the “three highest risk tiers” of customers in 2017, and doubled the amount of business written in the two highest quality tiers. It called non-prime “an important and profitable line of business” where it saw further growth opportunities.
It said it would look also into a renewed prime proposition for the future, after discontinuing a prime product last year, adding it intended to build a “sizeable” presence in the segment over the next three to five years.
“It is readily apparent that the lenders in this space enjoy attractive returns on equity,” Moneyway said.