The National Credit Regulator (NCR) today released the ‘Consumer Credit Market Report’ (CCMR) and ‘Credit Bureau Monitor’ (CBM), which are based on the data submitted to the NCR by registered credit providers and credit bureaus respectively. These latest reports cover credit market information up to December 2013. Nomsa Motshegare, CEO of the NCR, said that the statistics reported for the quarter ended December 2013 indicate a marginal increase in the value of new credit granted. She also encouraged consumers to live within their means and to use credit responsibly.

Credit bureaus held records for 20.64 million credit-active consumers, an increase of 1.8% when compared to the 20.29 million in the previous quarter. Consumers classified in good standing increased by 184,000 to 10.71 million consumers. As a percentage of the total number of credit-active consumers at 51.9%, this reflects no percentage change quarter-on-quarter and a decrease of 1.3% year-on-year. 

The number of consumers with impaired records increased by 171,000 to 9.93 million, from 9.76 million in the previous quarter. The percentage total of credit-active consumers stands at 48.1% which reflects no percentage change quarter-on-quarter and an increase of 1.3% year-on-year.

The number of accounts increased from 71.17 million in the previous quarter to 73.18 million. The number of impaired accounts increased from 19.25 million to 19.74 million when compared to the previous quarter, an increase of 493,000 quarter-on-quarter and 2.22 million year-on-year. A total of 348.66 million enquiries were made on consumer credit records, a decrease of 2.5% quarter-on-quarter and an increase of 2.8% year-on-year. Enquiries initiated by consumers accounted for 15.48 million of all enquiries, a decrease of 4.2% quarter-on-quarter and 9.9% year-on-year. 

Of the total enquiries made on consumer records, enquiries from banks and other financial institutions accounted for 85.4%, enquiries from retailers accounted for 2.9% and enquiries from telecommunication providers accounted for 3.1%. Banks and other financial institutions’ enquiries decreased by 2.1% from the previous quarter, retailers decreased by 10.5% and telecommunication providers decreased by 35.7%. The number of credit reports issued to consumers decreased to 146,657. Of the total credit reports issued, 75.6% (110,803) were issued without charge, and the remaining 24.4% (35,854) were issued with charge. There were 19,658 disputes lodged on information held on consumer credit records for the quarter ended December 2013, a decrease of 8.4% quarter-on-quarter and an increase of 20.1% year-on-year. 

The total value of new credit granted increased by R1.45 billion (1.24%) from R117.21 billion for the quarter ended September 2013 to R118.66 billion for the quarter ended December 2013. There was an overall quarter-on-quarter growth for all credit types with the exception of “Developmental” credit and Short-Term credit. The number of applications received for credit increased by 525,000 from 10.22  million in September 2013 to 10.75 million in December 2013, an increase of 5.14% quarter-on-quarter and a decrease of 9.02% year-on-year.

The following were some of the most significant trends observed in terms of credit granted for the quarter ended December 2013: 

The banks’ share of the total outstanding consumer credit as at December 2013 was R1.30 trillion (85.40%), retailers at R34.99 billion (2.30%), non-bank vehicle financiers at R55.28 billion (3.64%), and “other credit providers” at R131.67 billion (8.66%). Other credit providers consist primarily of pension-backed lenders, insurers, non-bank mortgage lenders and securitised debt.

Comparisons in this release - ‘quarter-on-quarter’ refers to a comparison between the September 2013 and December 2013 quarters, and ‘year-on-year’ refers to a comparison between the December 2012 and December 2013 quarters.