UK Consumer Credit Grows at Fastest Rate in Almost a Decade in November

British lending to consumers expanded at the fastest annual rate in almost a decade in November and banks approved more mortgages than forecast, showing a buoyant mood among households towards the end of 2015.

The Bank of England said net lending to consumers in November was up 8.3 percent compared with a year earlier, the biggest such increase since February 2006 and a growth rate that may raise concern at the Bank about lending standards.

In cash terms, lending was up 1.476 billion pounds compared with the previous month, beating economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll and showing a similar picture to industry figures released before Christmas.

Lenders also granted more home loans than expected, with 70,410 mortgages for house purchase approved, the highest number in three months.

The figures add to signs that Britain’s housing market is accelerating after a dip in mid-2014 when tighter rules on mortgage lending took effect, requiring banks and building societies to make more rigorous checks on whether borrowers can afford their loans.

Reuters

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Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.