View more on these topics

HSBC to buy Household International

HSBC is set to acquire leading US consumer credit provider Household International in a deal reportedly worth £9bn.

Founded in 1878, Household provides personal loans, credit cards, motor finance and credit insurance to customers across Canada, the UK and the US. The deal will see Household become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the HSBC Group and will promote the bank to become one of the top ten credit card issuers in the world.

In the UK Household operates primarily under the Beneficial and HFC brand names, with well-known brands Hamilton Direct Bank and marbles also falling within the group.

In recent years HSBC has been struggling to maintain its position in the UK credit card market and at the end of 2001 lost its position of fourth place in the market to star performer HBOS. The addition of HFC&#39s credit cardholders, which is thought to be over 2.5 million, will certainly bolster its flagging performance.

On a more general note, the deal points to the continuing trend of consolidation in the UK credit card market. The last year alone has seen Barclaycard acquire Providian and Alliance & Leicester sell and outsource the management of its credit card portfolio to MBNA.

Helen Smith, Datamonitor financial services analyst, says: “Ultimately, the market looks certain to be dominated by small number of big hitters. The question is, which of the smaller players will fall next?”

Recommended

Bank to publish inflation report

The Bank of England will today publish its quarterly inflation report and pundits say it will justify the Bank&#39s decision to hold interest rates at 4% by showing a rise in underlying inflation. The Office for National Statistics has already said its key underlying inflation measure, which strips out mortgage repayments, rose 0.1% in October […]

SELLERS&#39 PACKS RECEIVE QUEEN&#39S SPEECH BOOST

The inclusion of the Homes Bill in the Queen&#39s Speech means sellers&#39 packs are set to become a legal part of the home moving process from 2005. Sellers&#39 packs were first touted in 1997. Critics of the sellers&#39 pack concept fear extra costs that could slow down the mortgage market by making home owners more […]

Igroup breaks through £300m lending mark

October saw specialist lender igroup break through the £300m new lending figure for the first time in its short history. Jonathan Sadler, igroup&#39s director of sales and marketing, says: “This is a fantastic result for the team. Since we launched igroup in April 2000, we have seen the business grow month-on-month – and especially since […]

IMLA looks ahead as chairman quits

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association is in the process of electing a new leadership, with current chairman Tony Ward stepping down. Ward, also chief executive of Britannic Money, has opted to step down following two years in the post. Seven unnamed nominations have been received for the posts of chairman, vice-chairman, and two additional management […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up