- Motor finance and property bridging specialist S&U said its business was continuing to make a 'steady recovery' after lockdowns were eased.

Sales at its Advantage Finance car finance business had recovered from around 40% of normal to nearly 80%, the company said in a trading update for the period between 9 June and 31 July.

Collection levels in that business had fallen from their usual 94% of due to just over 75%, brought about by regulator-mandated customer repayment holidays.

Those had involved around 16,500, or 26%, of the company's 63,500 customers.

'Although these customers are now gradually resuming repayment, the extent to which they do so - particularly in light of the further "holidays" of up to three months recently proposed by the FCA - will become clearer in the next couple of months,' S&U said.

At the Aspen housing business, the company said it had seen an uptake in both new transactions - with July being above budget - and in recent loan redemptions.

Current net receivables were just below £19m compared to £15.5m in early June.

'The mood of the British consumer is still skittish and cautious,' the company said.

'Although recent manufacturing and financial services sectoral surveys are encouraging, uncertainty still persists about both the state of the labour market as government support measures are dismantled, and about the deeper structural effects on the economy caused by the pandemic.'

'We anticipate greater clarity over the next three months.'

'Although these trends will inevitably have a significant impact on S&U's results this year, the company is still profitable, paying dividends and our financial strength, experience, excellent broker partnerships and flexible and committed staff should ensure a return to a more "normal" trading environment by the end of the year.'

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