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August 15, 2000

Direct Line Launches Realtime Loans Online In Internet Borrowing Boom

COMPANY PRESS RELEASE: On Monday 14 August launches its first online 'quote and buy' personal loans service where applications for unsecured personal loans of up to £25,000 can be approved immediately.

By CBR Staff Writer

Visitors to will be able to find out in less than 10 minutes if they are eligible for a loan – and they will also be able to establish whether they can afford to borrow more or less than they requested. Loans available start from £1,000. Online customers can also make use of a loans calculator, which calculates loan repayments in less than 10 seconds.

Direct Line predicts at least a seven-fold explosion in the number of people borrowing online over the next five years. The prediction is based on a 143% annual growth in borrowing over the phone in the last five years (2)

Andy Marchant, Managing Director, Direct Line Financial Services says:

The use of the phone for financial services has mushroomed in the past few years, but we predict this is likely to be blown out of the water by the internet. We predict a loan will be taken out on the net every minute of the day by 2003 (3)

A MORI survey commissioned by Direct Line reveals that consumers are less likely to buy large items (over £1000) over the next six months but that the number of personal loans being taken out will increase. Personal loans have been most popular in the last six months with those aged 35-54. The proportion of people taking out a personal loan in the next six months is expected to increase, especially among those aged 16 – 34.

Andy Marchant continues:

At the moment, many companies claim to offer personal loans on the net, but many are simply smoke and mirrors with a little help from email. In contrast, will give an immediate decision truly online and will let customers know if they can afford to borrow more or less.

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At it takes customers as little as two minutes to get a motor insurance quote. offers motor, home, travel, breakdown cover and the UK’s first ever life assurance online.

Oliver Prill, Direct Line’s Managing Director of e-commerce says: is already the leading online insurer with a 30% market share. Adding loans is part of our ongoing strategy to broaden the depth and breadth of our quote and buy service on

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