Household debt at its highest level ever

By agency reporter
May 2, 2018

The latest Bank of England lending data, released on 1 May 2018, shows a monthly slowdown in the rate of growth in consumer credit lending. However, in the first quarter of 2018, the seasonally adjusted amount of consumer credit lending outstanding was at its highest level ever at £209,175 million, exceeding the previous quarterly peak of £208,296 million in the third quarter of 2008.

Commenting on the latest data, StepChange Debt Charity head of policy, Peter Tutton, said: “A decade on from the financial crisis, we must not lose sight of the impact of sustained pressure on already stretched household budgets in coping with the rising daily cost of living.

"We estimate that severe problem debt currently affects some 3.4 million people in the UK, so tackling and preventing vulnerable households from falling into problem debt should be high on the policymakers’ agenda. While the financial system may not be at risk of history repeating itself in terms of systemic failure, at household finances level the risks are all too real.

“Regulators and lenders must act on reviewing credit products like overdrafts, credit cards and hire purchase in order to reduce the number of people inadvertently trapped in a vicious cycle of persistent problem debt, while the government must support affordable alternatives to affordable credit.”

* StepChange Debt Charity


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