Big Four loans cost Brits £1 billion

02 December 2003
Personal loan customers borrowing from the Big Four banks are losing a whopping £1.05 billion a year, according to the latest figures.

Research from Alliance & Leicester shows that, on average, Big Four customers could save £400 each by switching loan provider.

With increasing consumer debt levels, it is becoming vital that British consumers seek out the best deals possible on loans.

Alliance & Leicester reports that 2.43 million borrowers are securing personal loans with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and RBS NatWest.

However, loans with the Big Four banks are not necessarily the most competitive and consumers are advised to shop around for the best rate of interest available.

Andy Bayes, head of personal loans, Alliance & Leicester, said: "With greater competition in the personal loans market it is worrying that so many people are still turning to the Big Four for their borrowing needs.

"These High Street banks are relying on consumers' inertia to enable them to charge higher rates of interest and it is time that borrowers woke up to the fact that their apathy is costing them serious amounts of money. As our figures show shopping around for a better deal really can save you hundreds of pounds."

Alliance & Leicester's website offers a Loan Calculator, which enables consumers to work out how much they can afford to borrow, decide over which period they wish to spread their repayments and how much they can save by switching and/or consolidating debt from existing credit cards, personal loans and current account overdrafts.