George Robbins, director of financial services at TransUnion in the UK comments on the latest BofE Money and Credit statistics: “The latest monthly Money and Credit statistics from the Bank of England reveal a mixed picture. Consumer credit was up by £0.5 billion, showing that even the continuing Brexit uncertainty hasn’t put a stop to spending. However, the increase is the lowest since November 2013, which is not overly surprising, as consumers tread carefully and banks and finance providers tighten up on their lending criteria.
“In particular, a drop in lending for new cars was a major factor in slowing growth. However, alongside this, credit card lending saw an increase for the first time since last June, suggesting that consumers are perhaps more reluctant to consider large purchases or long-term loans in the current economic climate, but are keen to utilise flexible borrowing, such as credit cards, to meet their funding needs.
“Mortgage approvals dropped last month, which may indicate a forthcoming reduction in mortgage lending on the horizon. However, for March, there was in fact an increase of £0.8 billion in borrowing against properties, helping to maintain growth in the housing market, albeit at much lower rates than we’ve seen previously. Approvals on remortgages went up slightly last month, suggesting consumers are still keen to take advantage of continued low interest rates and use their properties to boost their financial security.”