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Big banks fail to keep up with loan deals

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25/04/2006

The ‘big five’ banks have been criticised for failing to compete with other lenders’ personal loan offerings, both in-branch and online.

According to price comparison site, uSwitch.com, thirteen personal loan lenders are currently offering personal loans at 6% APR or less. However, many of the big banks, such as HSBC, Barclays and RBS, have not kept up with the competition in this area.

uSwitch.com highlighted providers such as Northern Rock, Cahoot and new market entrant, Zopa – all currently offering low-rate personal loans. It said there were four times as many loan providers offering rates below 6% APR, as at the same time last year.

Nick White, head of personal finance at uSwitch.com, said: “The personal loan market is at its most competitive for a long time as lenders continue to piggy-back one another to remain at, or reach, the top of the best buy tables.

“It still surprises me that the high street banks retain such a large share of the market when they continue to offer some really uncompetitive deals. In today’s market, it makes far more sense for borrowers to check out what is available online before they head to the high street for a low-rate loan.”

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