More money paid off on plastic

Debit card machineConsumers paid off more on credit cards than they borrowed last month, suggesting households are continuing to tighten their belts, figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) have shown.

The BBA's High Street Banking report said that new spending on credit cards was £6.8 billion in September, down from £6.9 billion in August.
The figures showed £7.1 billion was paid back last month, slightly less than the £7.2 billion worth of repayments made in August.

But the number of purchases made last month went up, from 113.4 million in August to 113.9 million in September.
Net credit card lending, which includes the interest charged on accounts, rose slightly in September by £0.2 billion, leaving £35.9 billion outstanding.

The value of personal savings and deposits in high street banks, including current accounts, rose by £2.5 billion last month to create a total balance of £643.6 billion.

BBA statistics director David Dooks said: "Households are limiting their borrowing in the face of unemployment concerns and pressure on household finances amid general economic uncertainty.

"A modest stimulus to gross mortgage lending is coming from the buy-to-let sector as rental yields continue to improve."

The figures from the BBA showed the number of mortgage approvals went down in September to 72,641, from 77,582 in August.

Simon Clark, a mortgage broker at Jacobs Payne & Parry Financial Services, said: "The 7% increase on last September is a reflection of increased confidence among lenders."

© 2011 Press Association
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