- Subprime lender Morses Club said it had seen a 'steady increase' in demand during the first quarter of its financial year.

The improvement in the three months through May had occurred across all lending products in both the home collected credit and digital divisions.

Morses Club said customer numbers in the digital division for short-term and long-term lending products had risen 40%, with total loan book balances up 99% relative to the 2021 year-end position.

New credit issued was 33% above management's budgeted plan, with collections performance also ahead of budget.

'The significant increase in both demand and volume for longer and shorter-term digital lending products has led to the lengthening of the maturity profile of the loan book,' the company added.

'This will increase the impairment range for the digital division in the first half of the year due to the IFRS9 requirement to take forward-looking provisions at the outset of the loan period.'

'We anticipate volumes will stabilise and return to more normal levels during the course of the year, in line with our budgeted plan, and subsequently this will then lead to impairments reducing.'

Chief executive Paul Smith said: 'Despite the continued impact of the pandemic, trading performance across all of our lending products has been very strong in the first quarter of the 2022 financial year.'

'This encouraging start to the year has been achieved through standout delivery from all our teams and agents and continues the group's strong momentum from the second half of last year.'

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