WITHIN weeks of launching in the Irish market last year, UK subprime lender Amigo Loans had impaired €13,400 of its then €318,500 gross loan book, accounts for the Ireland arm show.
The lender officially started offering its high-priced loans in February last year. Amigo lends customers between €500 and €5,000 over one to three years, and charges a 49.9pc annual percentage rate.
That rate compares with the less than 10pc rates that are charged on similar loans by lenders such as AIB and Bank of Ireland.
Amigo requires that borrowers have a guarantor, who is then liable for the loan if the borrower cannot make repayments. Amigo notes that "the borrower and guarantor are technically and in substance joint borrowers".
Accounts just filed for the lender's Irish unit show that the company had 109 customers at the end of March last year, just a few weeks after opening for business here.
Most recently, Amigo reported that it had 1,800 customers in Ireland at the end of last September, with a total loan book here of €4.8m.
Last week, Amigo founder James Benamor put the company up for sale, seeking a buyer for his 60.6pc stake.