Solihull-based home credit firm S&U has reported that a demand for loans is indicative of improvement in the UK’s economy.

The company, headed by former Wyre Forest MP and ex-Blues’ board member Anthony Coombs, said a strong performance from its motor credit arm and healthy seasonal trading should help maintain sustained growth.

In an interim management statement, S&U reported: “As we enter the last few weeks of our prime Christmas trading period, recent trends on both collections and sales are promising.

“Debt quality has improved, credit availability for existing customers is up on last year, and recent new customer promotions have been very successful.

"Recent sales and demand for new loans reflect a gradual improvement in consumer confidence.”

It added that its Advantage motor finance facility had exceeded expectations.

“Advantage, our motor finance business, has not only maintained its powerful performance of the first half, but in certain areas, particularly debt quality, exceeded it.  Indeed over this trading period customer numbers are at a new record and their rate of growth remains very impressive.”

 Recent investment in home credit and motor finance businesses had risen to 41 per cent from 31 per cent last year.

It said: “In order to comfortably continue to finance this expansion and the consequent growth in our loan book, we have, during the period, arranged an additional £15 million of facilities with a new banking partner on a medium term basis. 

"With our new and existing banking partners we look forward to continuing to build our business over the next few years.

Mr Coombs added: “Encouraging current trading and the loyalty and renewed confidence of our home credit and motor finance customers enable us to confidently anticipate the results which the hard work and dedication of everybody at S&U fully deserves.”