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  • 2012/05/31
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International consumer finance market: outstanding loans of €5,600 billion in 2011, an increase of +4.5% between end-2010 and end-2011.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Consumer Credit Overview of Sofinco - a brand of Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance - has published its yearly report on the international consumer finance market.
With outstanding loans of €5,600 billion at the end of 2011, the worldwide market presents major disparities between each continent:
-    39% of worldwide outstanding loans are in North America, in particular the United States (the world’s largest market with around one-third of total outstanding loans) and Canada;
-    Asia and the Middle East (29%) constitute the second-largest region, well ahead of Europe (23%);
-    Meanwhile, Africa accounts for just 1.7% of the world’s outstanding consumer loans.
However, due to the strong growth of emerging markets, the gaps are narrowing. The proportion of worldwide loans in the five largest countries (United States, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany) has fallen in the space of three years from 76% in 2008 to 60% in 2011.

With growth of +4.5%, the worldwide consumer finance market demonstrated a certain amount of momentum in 2011.
However, this overall increase conceals a decoupling between emerging markets, which present brisk growth, and developing markets, which are in many cases struggling or even in decline:
-    Emerging markets are driving the international consumer finance market, with strong growth in particular in South America (+21%), boosted by the robust performance of Argentina (+49%), Brazil (+20%) and Chile (+18%). Asia and the Middle East, excluding Japan, saw growth of +16% (+5% including Japan), with particularly solid momentum in China (+28%) and Indonesia (+25%).     In Africa, the market also grew by a solid +13%.     
-    Meanwhile, some developed markets have reached maturity and present more moderate growth, or even a decline in outstanding consumer loans. The market picked up in North America (+3.9% following a fall of -1.7% in 2010). In Europe (+1.3%), the market was driven primarily by emerging markets that do not form part of the EU, with growth of +41% in Russia and +34% in Turkey, while the EU 27 saw a fall of -2.9% to end-2011. The French market dropped one place to 9th place, topped by South Korea in 8th place.

Outstanding loans per capita worldwide were €810 in 2011, with inevitable major disparities, ranging from €4,800 in North America (including Canada, where outstanding loans per capita are the highest in the world at over €10,000 per person) to €90 per capita in Africa.
At over €3,000, the level was also high in Oceania (mainly Australia and New Zealand).
Within the 27 EU Member States, outstanding loans per capita were an average of €2,100.
There are major discrepancies in Asia and the Middle East (average of €389), with outstanding loans per capita in Japan (€6,026) and Singapore (€6,144) around 40 times higher than in China, which is nevertheless the world’s sixth-largest market in terms of total volume.
You can download the full report on www.ca-consumerfinance.com, Section Consumer Credit Overview