Alliance and Leicester has launched a personal loan that allows customers to get their hands on the cash the same day they apply for the loan.
The loan, which has an APR of 6.9% over 60 months for amounts up to £15,000, is available for new and existing A&L customers through its branches.
Customers whose applications are accepted by 12.30pm on any working day will see the cleared funds deposited in their bank account before the day is out.
The bank, which is the first in the UK to offer same day fund release unsecured loans, anticipates the product will appeal to people who need to borrow money quickly – perhaps to pay off debt or finance a large purchase.
Although debt charities have been quick to criticise so-called 'easy credit' in the past, A&L says it remains a responsible lender and will assess each application carefully looking specifically at a borrower’s ability to repay the loan.
It also says it is up to customers to decide whether they should or shouldn’t borrow money for a purchase.
Richard Al-Dabbagh, personal loans manager at A&L, says: “The fact that the loan takes less time to be paid into your current account means that you can get it working for you even faster. And with one of the best rates available on the high street, our personal loans aim to meet the needs and budgets of virtually everyone.”
But a spokeswoman for debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, urges people to stop and think before taking out an unsecured loan. She says: “People should think carefully about whether they need to borrow the money and whether they are able to pay it back.”
The APR of 6.9% of A&L's loan means that it is more competitive than many store cards. Figures from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows the average store card APR is 27% when paid by direct debit with Dorothy Perkins’ coming in as most expensive at 29.9%.
Samantha Owens, a spokeswoman for Moneyfacts, says: "Store cards are undoubtedly some of the highest rates your will find. If you do find yourself with a debt hanging around your neck, then a personal loan may be a good solution.
“Rates can be much lower and the regular fixed repayments can work well for the less disciplined of us.”