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Credit cards kept in pockets over recovery fears

Credit cards kept in pockets over recovery fears

Category: Money

Updated: 23/08/2011
First Published: 23/08/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Households remain reluctant to borrow money as fears about the state of the economy continue to play on their minds, according to the UK 's high street banks.

With consumers shunning the shops and retail sales growing slowly, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said the consequent demand for unsecured borrowing through credit cards, loans and overdrafts remains weak.

Indeed, the repayment of loan and overdraft borrowing continues to outweigh new lending.

While borrowing on credit cards continues to expand, the BBA said growth had been slow over the past two years and largely relates to the interest added to accounts.

It also pointed out that monthly spending on credit cards is regularly more than offset by repayments.

Elsewhere amongst the figures it was revealed that a cautious approach is also being adopted by businesses.

The BBA described the appetite of companies for finance as low, with the new finance that is being made available to one company being offset by debt repayment from another.

"Demand for borrowing from both households and companies continues to be weak reflecting the slow growth in the economy," said BBA statistics director, David Dooks.

"Overall companies' appetite for finance remains low, reflecting business decisions in difficult trading conditions."

The figures did, however, reveal a slight rise in the number of mortgages approved for house purchase.

The number of remortgage approvals in July also increased on June and was 14% higher than in July 2010.

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