Credit card spending totalled £10.5 billion in March, 8.1 per cent higher than the same month in 2018 according to the latest UK Finance Household Finance Update. The increased lending on credit cards has been matched by growth in repayments, reflecting the growing use of cards by consumers as a preferred means of payment rather than as a borrowing mechanism.

Gross mortgage lending across the residential market was £20 billion in March 2019, 0.5 per cent lower than the same month in 2018.

The number of mortgages approved by the main high street banks last month was 9.1 per cent higher than March 2018, which was a particularly subdued month for total mortgage approvals.

Meanwhile, total personal deposits grew by 0.4 per cent in the year to March. Deposits held in instant access accounts were 2.0 per cent higher than last March, showing the preference amongst consumers to keep cash close to hand amid ongoing economic uncertainty. The key findings in the latest update were as follows:

  • Gross mortgage lending across the residential market in March 2019 was £20 billion, 0.5 per cent lower than the same month in 2018.
  • The number of mortgages approved by the main high street banks in March 2019 was 9.1 per cent higher than March 2018, which was a particularly subdued month for total mortgage approvals. In March 2019, approvals for home purchase were 9.3 per cent higher, remortgage approvals were 11.1 per cent higher and approvals for other secured borrowing were 1.7 per cent higher year-on-year.
  • The £10.5 billion of credit card spending in March 2019 was 8.1 per cent higher than the same month in 2018.  The outstanding level of credit card borrowing also grew by 4.3 per cent in the twelve months to March. Increased lending on credit cards has been matched by growth in repayments, reflecting the growing use of cards by consumers as a preferred means of payment rather than as a borrowing mechanism.
  • Personal borrowing through loans in March 2019 was 6.8 per cent higher than the same month a year ago, but remains well below the levels of personal borrowing seen in March 2017. Lending through overdrafts in March 2019 was 2.5 per cent higher compared to same month last year
  • Personal deposits in total grew by 0.4 per cent in the year to March 2019.  Deposits held in instant access accounts were 2.0 per cent higher than last March, reflecting the preference amongst consumers to keep cash close to hand amid ongoing economic uncertainty