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StepChange responds to Bank of England Money and Credit statistics

30 April 2024

New Money and Credit figures released by the Bank of England show net mortgage approvals at their highest since September 2022, rising from 60,500 in February to 61,300 in March.

Meanwhile, net consumer credit borrowing remains high, increasing from £1.4 billion in February to £1.6 billion in March. Net borrowing through credit cards, rose from £0.5 billion to £0.7 billion in that period.

Responding to the figures, StepChange Chief Client Officer Richard Lane said:

“It’s encouraging to see rising mortgage approvals and increased use of credit, which in part will reflect growing consumer confidence. However, for many others, the increased use of consumer borrowing may reflect more difficult circumstances, with our recent polling estimating that one in six people - 8.6m UK adults - has recently borrowed to keep up with essentials.

“The cost of living crisis, while showing signs of abating, is still casting a long shadow over people’s finances and it’s critical that government, lenders and regulators remain vigilant to the difficulties people will face over the coming weeks and months.

“In particular, preventing harm from consumer credit debt must be at the top of the agenda for the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Duty. By spotting financial difficulty early and providing effective support and forbearance, lenders can prevent harmful consumer borrowing and arrest debt spirals.”

Notes to Editors

  1. You can view the Bank of England’s Money and Credit statistics here

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