The Potential Significance Of The Consumer Credit Index To You And The Wider Economy*



*This is a collaborative post*


My First Encounter With A Financial Brokerage 


My first job after graduating from university in 2012 was a temporary role in (in a trainee capacity) with an insurance brokerage in the City. The brokerage itself specialised in political and credit risk insurance and it would be my first taste of real 'big business'. I could not have imagined as a schoolboy that I might one day be working in such an industry nor in such a location. Being from a solidly working class family up't North you might be able to empathize with my own shock as I took my seat in the boardroom on day one for the Monday morning meeting. There were many new and memorable experiences here, but it was the little things which I really loved about it. So as I sat there trying to look casual while also failing magnificently in my efforts to get to grips with all of the financial jargon and terms being thrown around, most of which I had never heard of), the door suddenly swung open.

One of the company's Directors popped his head through the doorway, politely excused himself for interrupting before speaking in plain language I could understand, he asked, 'is there any more news on that $400 mill one?'. My head nearly fell off. The last time i'd spoken about mills in any kind of meaningful way in my life was perhaps when referring to the quantity of a beverage I might be drinking or something along those lines. Yet here he was referring to an insurance deal taking place where the sum to be insured was a whopping $400 million as casually as if he were ordering his morning coffee. And that was just one deal of many taking place that week. It was one of those moments which sticks in one's mind. For those of you who have seen Wall Street (old or new version), you'll know that in the world of high end finance in particular, millions become mills, thousands are Thou, a segment is a tranche and so on. Also some of you might be wondering why the fee was in dollars. Well again in the world of global finance and USD is the currency by which all major institutions go by, in order to simplify financial trade and understanding between institutions operating in nations with differing currencies around the globe.



Due to my own experience working in this brokerage I am always interested in hearing about this sector and the notion of brokering is a concept which is fundamental in business. In the film Layer Cake starring Daniel Craig, there's a line by Michael Gambon (if memory serves . . .) along the lines of 'the art of good business is being a good middle man', (or middle woman et al, of course :P), which essentially is what a brokerage functions as. Which brings me to my next point regarding a leading credit broker, CashLady who some of you might already be familiar with. They are a company which actually values their customers and wishes to ensure they are as informed as possible, while ensuring that each has an enjoyable and effective journey with their business. Now, you know as well as I do that there probably isn't a business on the planet who wouldn't claim that they value their customers, but in this case with a recent venture this business went quite some way to solidifying that reputation.

The Consumer Credit Index: What Is It? Why Is It Important?

By launching the inaugural City Consumer credit index which will give media professionals a new and unique insight into the financial situation of mills of people (see what I did there? ;) across the UK. The Consumer Credit Index (CCI) will allow journalists to track the number of people applying for short term financial solutions and credit through their website along with a mix of other valuable data via an easy to use and understand interactive map of the UK. The data covers the 14 'ITV regions' across the country. The use of this tool will allow media professional to more accurately identify in which areas of the country, people are struggling most. It also shows that millions of people apply for a short term credit solution every year. The company breaks down the data into monthly consumer trends by city, showing the average loan request, monthly income and top employers.



Towards the end of last year, The Mirror published an article claiming that the number of people applying for loans to cover mortgage payments and rent costs has more than doubled in the previous 2 years, and emergency loan application were apparently up 93% over the same period. I come from a family which had to make use of such options when times were financially stressful. Some of the other data included in the CCI is that it will show the top three 'loan purposes' given in each of these areas ranging from 'paying bills' to 'unexpected expenses'. This data will be updated monthly to provide accurate information to media professionals.

I am actually pleased such a tool is available, especially with things how they are in the UK. Information like his can really cut through any political spin you might have fallen for when you see a statistic that 'Emergency loans' are up 93% in two years, that is the kind of thing that might spur further action on relevant issues via social media, through local government and such like, it could have positive and far reaching economic ramifications. All in all, to say we are living in the information age I am surprised it has taken so long for a tool like this to be launched when it could potentially offer such a deep insight into the financial state of the nation at both a macro and micro-economic level.


*Post written by Michael David  *Photos via Pexels 




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