Banking, loans and cards

Borrowing figures point to rise in confidence

There are signs of growing financial optimism across the UK, with a rise in borrowing suggesting more people are gearing up to make larger purchases.

Stats released by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) showed a thriving market for mortgage advances, personal loans and credit cards last month.

“When customers feel more optimistic about the economic outlook they are much more likely to take on new borrowing,” said David Dooks, the BA’s statistics director.

“Today’s figures show that mortgage lending in August was up 15% on last year and that credit card spending remains robust. But I was particularly struck that after years of decline, demand for unsecured personal loans is rising quite strongly again.

“Those products are often used to finance bigger purchases such as cars or major home improvements – the sort of spending we often put off until we feel confident about our financial circumstances.”