Lending levels are unlikely to return to their previous heights when the UK recovers from the recession, it has been suggested.
According to Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, it will be some time before the UK's economy begins to grow again.
He predicted that the rate of contraction would start to slow towards the end of 2009, but it would be a further year before actual growth takes place.
Mr Loynes added that any recovery will not necessarily mean a return to the same situation that was seen before the credit crunch, when secured and unsecured loans were less restricted.
"I don't think we are going to see the same availability of credit that we have seen over the last decade or so," he remarked, adding that it will also take time for house prices to bounce back.
The recession was officially confirmed by the Office for National Statistics last month, as it revealed that the UK economy had contracted by 1.5 per cent in the final three months of 2008 - the second successive quarter of negative growth.
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