Consumers are still running up debt at a rapid level, according to the latest figures from the Briti...
Consumers are still running up debt at a rapid level, according to the latest figures from the British Bankers' Association, as both mortgage lending and card borrowing continued to rise in March.
Overall lending rose another 0.8% or £7bn in March to £893bn, but this is down slightly against spending in February, when borrowing increased £8.5bn and down again from the monthly average of £10.2bn last year.
Key concern, says David Dooks, director of BBA statistics, is consumers' credit card borrowing rose by another £400m in March and saw its highest climb since May 2000.
Moreover, less consumer money was placed in savings, Isas and deposits than might have been seen in previous years and was seen in February, but an extra 0.7% or £4.5bn was at least saved by individuals, says Dooks.
"Apart from ISAs, where people were using up their annual investment limits, personal savings and current accounts were weak in March. Together with increased credit card borrowing and higher personal loan demand, this suggests that consumers remained very active in March, and mortgage lending continued to grow at the high, yet stable, level of the last nine months or so," he adds.
There was also evidence to suggest financial firms were asking for increased borrowing, as investment and unit trusts borrowed £244m in March, while insurance firms and pension funds leveraged an extra £132m.
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