Loan and credit card borrowing falls

Gross lending of £15,500 million was 12 per cent lower than March’s total of £17,673 million, according to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

Additionally, net mortgage lending, after seasonal adjustments, only rose by £5 billion compared to £5.5 billion in March.

April’s figures come after the unusual net fall in loans during March and though last month saw a rise in loans and overdrafts to £0.2 billion, it was still below the six month average of £0.3 billion.

Mr Dooks said that “consumers were showing little appetite to take on additional unsecured borrowing” in April.

Debt resolution company, ClearDebt, warned that this slowdown could foreshadow a further upswing in private individuals going bust.

“In our experience, a large proportion of debtors only stop borrowing well after the point where it stopped making sense,” commented ClearDebt chief executive, David Mond.

“If consumers really have started borrowing less, it may mean that the numbers entering bankruptcies and IVAs is set to rise still further over the next few months.”