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FICO UK Credit Card Market Report: November 2023

January 29, 2024 at 4:05 AM EST

Financial squeeze on households illustrated by fall in payments to balance while spending followed usual pre-Christmas upward trend

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 29, 2024-- The FICO UK Credit Card Market Report for November 2023 reflects many of the usual trends in the run-up to Christmas, with increased spending and a reduction in payments made to balance. However, probably as a result of the continued higher prices and rising interest rates, overall card balances reached the highest level since FICO records began.

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Average UK credit card spend began to increase again, after reducing in September and October; up 2.3% month-on-month to £800 (Graphic: FICO)

Average UK credit card spend began to increase again, after reducing in September and October; up 2.3% month-on-month to £800 (Graphic: FICO)


  • Average spend began to increase again, after reducing in September and October; up 2.3% month-on-month to £800
  • 36.7% of balances were paid, down 2.8% month-on-month, continuing the downward trend seen since July 2023
  • The average balance increased by 1% month-on-month to reach the highest level since FICO records began — an average of £1,740
  • The number of customers missing one or two payments showed a monthly fall of 7.1% and 4.2%, to 1.5% and 0.3%, respectively – however, they remain 3.9% and 7.2% higher year on year
  • Cash spend decreased for the second month in a row, dropping by 2.8% to 3.6% of total spend
  • The average credit card overlimit amount has remained stable at £90

FICO Comment

Following the usual Autumn dip, November brought higher spending as households prepared for the festive season. Higher prices also probably contributed to a 2.3% month-on-month increase — 6.4% year-on-year — to reach an average of £800 for November. However, with the percentage of balances paid falling by 2.8% from October to November, and 6.7% lower than the same period in 2022, average card balances increased by 1% on the month and 9.9% year-on-year.

The average card balance in November stood at £1,740, following a general pattern of increases throughout 2023. This is the highest level since FICO records began in 2006 and is expected to increase further in December as continued high prices and the associated pressure on households, cause a drop in the percentage of balance being paid.

The percentage of customers spending over their credit card limit has also been trending up over the last two years; currently standing at 1.24%; a 5.3% increase month on month and 26.7% increase year on year. However, the average overlimit amount has remained stable at £90.

While the number of overlimit customers has increased, those missing payments remains erratic, albeit probably following the typical trend for managing payments in order to keep credit lines open during the festive season. Fewer customers missed one or two payments in November compared to October. The number of people missing one payment fell 7.1% month-on-month, while the number missing two consecutive payments fell by 4.2%.

The average balance of customers missing one payment increased for the second month in a row: a 0.9% increase month-on-month and 7.8% increase year-on-year to £2,200. There was also a 2% increase month-on-month and 4.5% year-on-year to an average of £2,640 for those customers missing two consecutive payments.

With spending set to increase further in December, and fewer payments to balance likely to be made, risk teams should monitor customer accounts closely. January usually brings a post-Christmas reduction in average balances as customers focus on making payments, but increased prices may mean balances don’t fall as much as usually expected in the New Year.

Key Trend Indicators – UK Cards November 2023



Month-on-Month Change

Year-on-Year Change

Average UK Credit Card Spend




Average Card Balance




Percentage of Payments to Balance




Accounts with One Missed Payment




Accounts with Two Missed Payments




Accounts with Three Missed Payments




Average Credit Limit




Average Overlimit Spend




Cash Sales / Total Sales




Source: FICO


These card performance figures are part of the data shared with subscribers of the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service. The data sample comes from client reports generated by the FICO® TRIAD® Customer Manager solution in use by some 80% of UK card issuers. For more information on these trends, contact FICO.

About FICO

FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 220 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to improving financial inclusion, to increasing supply chain resiliency. The FICO® Score, used by 90% of top US lenders, is the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the US and other countries, improving risk management, credit access and transparency. Learn more at www.fico.com.

FICO and TRIAD are registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

For further comment on the FICO UK Credit Card activity contact:
Wendy Harrison/Parm Heer
0208 977 9132

Source: FICO