United Kingdom lenders cutting back on unsecured loans, says Bank

United Kingdom consumer credit growth is slowing and lenders expect the biggest decline in consumer credit availability since the financial crisis in the last three months of the year, a Bank of England survey revealed on Thursday.

The clampdown follows warnings that Britain's debt mountain has risen to unsafe levels.

The survey shows that the net balance of lenders' expectations for the availability of unsecured lending over the next three months has fallen to minus 28.6 per cent, down from 16.2 per cent previously, the lowest since the 2008 recession.

This tightening has already started, however, and the...

During the third quarter of the year, lenders reported the biggest cut in the availability of unsecured loans since the third quarter of 2009, as the proportion of unsecured credit applications being approved fell significantly.

The Bank's Financial Policy Committee warned last month that United Kingdom lenders are underestimating their potential losses on credit cards and other unsecured loans to customers, and said it was compelling them to hold an extra £10bn of capital to protect their balance sheets in the event of an economic shock.

However, lenders expected demand for loans for capital investment in businesses to fall at the fastest rate since the third quarter of 2011.

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