Shawbrook launches new Transparency Charter

06 June 2018

Shawbrook has today reinforced its commitment to its personal loan customers with the unveiling of a five-point Transparency Charter.

The Charter accompanies the release of a new report commissioned by Shawbrook which calls into question the use of ‘teaser’ or ‘representative’ APRs advertised by personal loan lenders. These rates are often used by some lenders to hook consumers into applying for a loan, but the actual rate offered to borrowers at the end of the application process can be more expensive than initially expected.

Moreover, the gap between the interest rates being advertised and the interest rates actually being paid by consumers has widened over the past decade. It is estimated by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr), who we commissioned to produce the report, that households in Britain now pay £204 million a year more in loan costs than they initially expected.

Unfortunately, the majority (83%) of personal loan applicants surveyed expect to get representative rates but industry rules state just over 1 in 2 (51%) are required to be offered the advertised headline figure. This lack of transparency at the outset of the application could be impacting borrower’s ability to make informed decisions about how much to borrow.

The views of those surveyed are that Representative APRs in loan advertising is at best confusing and at worst misleading. With that in mind, we are making a clear commitment to how we will continue to advertise and market our personal loans.

Our new Transparency Charter outlines the promises we would like to make to all of you as well as any new Shawbrook customers;

1. Honest – We won’t use teaser rates, they are misleading.

We tell you the truth about the rate you will pay from the start. You’ll get a quote for your guaranteed, personalised loan rate before you apply.

2. Open – We want you to get the rate that’s right for you.

If you get a quote from us, we don’t put a mark on your credit history that other lenders can see so you’re not penalised for shopping around.

3. Fair – Don’t pay more for someone else.

Some of the low personal loan APRs advertised by lenders are loss-leading so they charge some customers more to subsidise those offered the best rates. We promise we’ll never do this.

4. Upfront – If it’s not good for you, it’s not good for us.

 We take our responsibilities seriously. We look at your personal circumstances and we’ll only lend to you if we are comfortable that you can afford the loan. Then we’ll let you know if you would be accepted before you apply.

5. Clear – We won’t waffle.

We’ll make things as clear as possible, so you know exactly where you stand.

To read more about this new report and the details of Shawbrook’s Transparency Charter, please click here.