Report highlights UK’s ‘credit culture’

UK consumers are far more comfortable about paying for goods and services using credit card debt than any of their European cousins, according to a new report.

Research by Datamonitor has found that at the end of 2006 the average British adult had at least twice as many credit cards as ordinary consumers from any other part of Europe.

Datamonitor’s research discovered that the average Norwegian has 0.7 credit cards, which places the country second in Europe in terms of paying by plastic, still well behind the UK where the typical adult has 1.4 credit cards.

The prevalence of credit cards and of borrowing in general is believed to reflect the relatively carefree attitude that UK consumers now have towards debt.

“In most other countries, consumers do not view credit cards as a borrowing tool and as a result they are not so popular,” explained Andrew Fabricius, financial services analyst at Datamonitor.

According to the latest figures from the UK’s payment association Apacs, around £11.3 billion worth of credit card debt was accumulated nationwide over the course of December 2007.


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