Friday, 29 November 2013

Oops! We've borrowed £1.43 trillion

Borrowing by UK households has reached a new record, as consumer credit bounces back in the recovery and mortgage lending continues to grow.

Total borrowing by individuals stands at £1.43 trillion, according to the Bank of England, very slightly higher than the previous peak reached in September 2008, just before the effects of the financial crisis and the recession began to bite.

The precise figure for UK household debt is £1,429,624,000,000.

Most of the debt is in mortgages, which have been rising steadily.

Other lending, including personal loans and credit cards, dropped sharply in the recession and has started to recover.

The rise reflects the willingness of British consumers to borrow again as a more solid recovery comes into sight.

However, the figures may also show the extent to which credit is fuelling the upturn - and how, in some cases, families are having to borrow to deal with the higher cost of living and make ends meet.

The Bank of England points out that incomes have been rising as well, so the ratio of debt to income has actually been on a downward trend.

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