UK consumer credit set to rise to £164bn

Consumer credit is expected to swell to £164bn this year as demand for credit card borrowing and retail finance grows, according to a report

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Consumer credit is expected to swell to £164bn this year

Consumer credit is expected to swell to £164bn this year as demand for credit card borrowing and retail finance grows, according to a report.

The EY Item Club forecast for financial services predicts it will increase by 3.1%, after a rise of just 0.8% in 2013.

It said consumers were now a better bet for banks to lend to after four years of falling credit availability. Household debt-to-income ratios have fallen and write-offs on consumer lending are forecast to drop.

The report said: “The pace of growth should increase as households become more confident about their employment and financial situation.”

Andrew Goodwin, senior economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said: “2014 will hopefully be the turning point for many UK households’ access to credit.

“Last year we saw growth in credit card lending and demand for car finance recovering strongly, but other forms of unsecured credit either fell or remained stagnant.

“This year we expect growth across the board – as well as a swell in consumer demand for credit cards, we expect stronger demand for big-ticket purchases, driving retail finance and personal loans, which will be good news for banks.”

The report also said mortgage lending would grow strongly.

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