Citizens Advice responds to latest Bank of England Money and Credit statistics

By agency reporter
August 31, 2018

Citizens Advice has responded to the Bank of England’s figures showing that the  annual growth rate of consumer credit increased by 8.5 per cent in July.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The level of consumer credit is still growing quickly so it is important the Financial Conduct Authority makes sure lending is affordable. However, not included in these figures is the £19 billion of hidden debt households across the UK owe to councils, government and essential service providers such as utility companies.    

“Policymakers have been rightly concerned about the scale of consumer credit debt, but there is an air of institutional indifference as far as household bill debts are concerned. The government can only start to get a proper understanding of people’s financial difficulties once it starts to measure this kind of debt more accurately and publish that figure annually.”

Citizens Advice research released last week revealed households across the UK owe an estimated £18.9 billion to essential service providers and government.

This includes tax credit overpayments of £7.5 billion, £2.8 billion owed to local authorities in council tax arrears, and £2.2 billion owed to water companies.

Household debt has now overtaken consumer credit as the key money problem people bring to Citizens Advice.

Last yea, Citizens Advice helped people with 690,000 household bill debt problems, compared to 350,000 consumer credit issues.

* Read the report Hidden Debts: the growing problem of being behind on bills and in debt to the government here

* Citizens Aid


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