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BBA: 'Little appetite' shown for loans

27 May 2006
Despite figures released by the Major British Banking Groups (MBBG) showing that net lending on unsecured loans and overdrafts rose in April, interest in borrowing is stagnating, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

Figures suggested that net lending rose by £0.2 billion last month but this only represented a reversal of March's fall of the same amount, indicating there is little to no growth in the loans sector.

Credit card borrowing was exactly in line with present average increases in April, the MBBG said, rising by £67 million.

Overall lending on personal loans and overdrafts was slightly lower than expected however, prompting a subdued response from the BBA director of statistics, David Dooks.

"Though consumer credit increased in line with recent patterns, it followed the previous month's net repayment," he commented, adding that by looking at March and April figures together "consumers were showing little appetite to take on additional unsecured borrowing".

Overall lending continues to rise but at a slower rate as the public become more aware of the risks of rising average debt levels in the UK.

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