Brits owe a third of all unsecured debt in Europe

28 September 2006
A report into unsecured loans and credit card debts by Datamonitor has shown that the unsecured debts of British consumers account for more than a third of the whole of the continent.

The UK consumer credit market hit £214 billion last year, which put Britain far ahead of the rest of Europe as the most indebted country. The average Briton owes over £3,000 each in unsecured debts, which is more than double the European average.

Anne Kiem, the head of external affairs at the IFS School of Finance, urged the government do more in focusing on educating people about debt and the organisation of their finances.

"Whilst the government has taken some welcome steps to address over-indebtedness in the UK, much more remains to be done," she said.

"We are very concerned that the government are relying so heavily on plans to make financial education part of the national curriculum from 2008 because early indications suggest this will be incredibly basic information.

Ms Kiem noted that the curriculum additions would amount to "less than a handful of hours study over a number of years" which would not make any impact on the financial education of the population and therefore would not go much of a way to reducing the overall debt.

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