Personal debt growth is ‘slowing’, BBA finds

Growth in personal debt slowed during May, data published by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has revealed.

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Personal debt grew by 5.1% during May, compared to 6.4% in April. Borrowing via loans and overdrafts slowed down in particular, the BBA said.

House purchase approvals also experienced a deceleration, totalling 40,347 in May. This number is 3.3% lower when compared to May 2016, and down on the monthly average of 41,923.

The BBA found that consumers are also saving less: in the year to the end of May, personal deposits grew at a rate of 2.6% – representing the slowest annual rate of growth in saving since 2011.

Commenting on the data, Eric Leenders, Managing Director for Retail Banking at the BBA, said: ‘In the run up to the General Election, credit growth in personal loans, cards and overdrafts has slowed, which was reflected in lower spending, with increased household costs affecting growth in deposits and saving.

‘Businesses appear to be weighing up their options before raising finance to fund projects or developments. After a long period of subdued company borrowing, overall growth is starting to stabilise at a modest rate.’

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