Cheque Centre was established in the year 1996. Whilst they had started out aligned with cheque cashing, they are today more of a one-stop shop offering loans, pawnbroking, travel money etc. A decade after formation in Edinburgh, this company was acquired by Axcess Financial Services Inc who are part of CNG Financial Corp. A few years later Axcess went on to acquire Cash Generator. The owner is mostly known for the Check ‘n Go brand who have more than 1000 stores scattered across the United States. Cheque Centre at its height had 433 stores and yet this network has amazingly shrunk down to just 53. The market leader (Money Shop) of course lost around 250.
Cash Generator was founded by Brian Lewis in 1994. This Bolton business had launched not too long after their key rival (Converters) had arrived from Australia in 1992. Generator’s store network sits close to 190, having peaked years earlier just above 220. Around 70% are franchised. In comparison, Converters has just over 200 that has dropped from approx 230 shops. They are found in 700 locations worldwide. Cash Generator loans (online and store) are no longer available. They were instructed by the FCA in 2015 to stop lending due to historic irresponsible lending practices. One thing of note is that a small portion of their stores are built within existing Cheque Centre outlets and this sister company does lend.
The Money Shop was the dominant high street payday lender with 550 stores at their peak. Step forward to 2016 and this network has shrunk down to 300 that may still be the largest chain, but they had planned several years back to reach 1200. Their very first store was opened in Nottingham in 1996. The brand would later be acquired by DFC Global Corp (known then as Dollar Financial Corp) that was back in 1999. Other than www.themoneyshop.com, DFC also serves the UK online through Payday Express and PaydayUK. Offline, they also own 5 Suttons & Robertsons stores plus a branch of Duncanson & Edwards and also Robert Biggar (each in Scotland).
Best Value Sectors:
2) Finance (P): B/H/L @ 4.6%
3) 12 Month (P): First Direct @ 0.011%
4) Finance (Sub): Advantage @ 29.26%
5) Guarantor: UK Credit @ 0.053%
6) 12 Month (Sub): Likely @ 0.063%
7) Logbook: Car Loan Centre @ 0.108%
8) Instalment: MHF @ 0.120%
9) Doorstep: Mutual @ 0.165%
10) Payday: Drafty: @ 0.180%
11) Short-Term: Drafty @ 0.180%
* Daily interest to 3DP
* Finance rates shown as APR
* (P) = Prime | (Sub) = Subprime
* Sainsbury’s leading rate is 3.3% APR.