UK Finance Update on Lending – December 2017
- Mortgage activity has been building through the year, helped by increasing numbers of first-time buyers. We estimate gross mortgage lending in November was £23.1 billion, 9 per cent higher than a year earlier, with 60 per cent of all new lending provided by High Street banks.
- Credit card spending increased in November, raising the annual growth in outstanding credit to 7.5 per cent. This growth reflects how cards are increasingly becoming consumers’ preferred way of borrowing, rather than personal loans or overdrafts.
- Business borrowing has continued to moderate through 2017, with the major sectors of manufacturing, wholesale and retail business showing only modest annual growth, while construction and property-related sectors have contracted their bank borrowing over the year.
Commenting on the data, Managing Director of Commercial and Personal Finance Eric Leenders said,
“Today’s data reflects a continuing trend that we have seen throughout 2017: ongoing activity in the mortgage market and a shift towards more flexible and affordable personal credit options. But there are signs of caution from the business community which could indicate that many firms are choosing to build up capital rather than borrowing to invest.
“Increasing numbers of first-time buyers, low interest rates and a competitive marketplace have helped build up mortgage activity through the year, with gross lending standing at nine per cent higher than at the same point in 2016. Credit card spending has continued to rise as more financial transactions are now carried out using cards, mirroring the declining use of loans and personal overdrafts.
“However, business borrowing has continued to moderate through 2017, with the major sectors of manufacturing, wholesale and retail business showing only modest annual growth, while construction and property-related sectors have contracted their bank borrowing over the year.”
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