About George Banco Loans
The George Banco company was formed in November 2013 and they began lending a few months into 2014. They had started out as a guarantor lender, but would in time add the option of a personal loan. Early growth had been spurred on by key broker partnerships. They had for instance worked with the leading retail lender The Money Shop. A significant milestone came in August 2017 when they were acquired by Non-Standard Finance for £53.5m. NSF had already acquired Everyday Loans (+TrustTwo) in December 2015, as well as the August 2015 deal for Loans at Home. Banco’s owner now controls a 180,000+ customer base with around 25,000 being attributed to the guarantor division (includes TrustTwo).
This tally is quite modest when you consider that the market leader (Amigo) has 224,000+ customers. The popularity of www.georgebanco.com had been progressing well. On a past check they had locally ranked at #57,192, but this has dropped and they now rank globally at around 1.1 million. Banco’s 2 products have slight differences. For unsecured you can receive between £1000 and £5000 paying £285.56 per £1000 over a year fixed. Their guarantor product extends to a whopping £15,000 and a cheaper deal is also available at £236.12 if you can find a backing aged 21-75. Same day payouts are pitched, no late fees are charged and they have amassed 6000+ reviews on Trustpilot scoring 95% with 1700+ Facebook fans.
About Bamboo Loans
Bamboo is an established provider of bad credit loans with or without guarantors. This lender has operated since 2014 and today has more than 50,000 customers. They employ 80+ staff across 3 offices situated in Caerphilly, London and Southampton. The Southampton office deals with new loan applications and Caerphilly manages existing customers (London’s purpose is unclear). Boo the Panda is the brand mascot of www.bambooloans.com that has historically been a top 5 visited site in their catered sectors. They have however took a dip across 2019. They had been locally ranked at around 25k, but they have now lost this local ranking. We have witnessed a similar drop at George Banco who are a similar matched competitor.
The 2 products available each start from £1000. The caps do differ though with the non-guarantor option stopping at £5000 and the guarantor option extending to £8000. Homeowners or tenants are accepted on that side between ages 21 and 72. Pricing is matched across each over a year at £235.72 for £1000. This is the representative example, but a variable range is headed as 26.9% to 89.9%. Just remember that with very poor credit you are likely to be asked for a backing even if you are opting for unsecured. Bamboo’s support on Trustpilot has been excellent to date scoring at 97% from 12,000+ reviews. Not many customers follow them on Facebook where they have around 600 likes.
About Amigo Loans
This was the first guarantor lender to reach the market in 2005 under the FLM identity. The rebrand went through in 2012. Today Amigo’s guarantor dominance is reportedly hitting market share close to 90%. We’d personally expect this to be a little lower based on the recent surges of Bamboo and George Banco. They are certainly doing well with 224,000 customers and a recent posted after tax profit of £100 million. Founder James Benamor had controlled the operation through the Richmond Group, but they have since split. Amigo’s product has been crafted to a high standard, but a massive boost has come from the level of focus on TV advertising and lead acquisition via brokers.
For reference, they pay brokers large fees, but this comes out of their own pocket. There are no related brands. They did operate for some time through FLM Quick and also tested out finance, but each didn’t stick around. Amigo’s service is the best in its field. Borrowers can access as much as £10,000 and be paid out within 24 hours (paperless applications have been available since 2011). They charge no late fees, but you should always repay on time as they report to all 3 CRAs that can improve your score greatly. Guarantors can be tenants from 18 years and for borrowers CCJs, defaults and self-employment are considered. They rate at 91% on Trustpilot from 21,600+ reviews.