CONSUMER credit growth increased to 8.8 per cent annually during April, driven by a boost in loans.
This was an increase from the 8.6 per cent figure recorded in March, according to Bank of England data.
Loan advances grew by 8.7 per cent on an annualised basis last month, up from 8.5 per cent in March, although credit card growth was flat in April at 8.9 per cent.
In contrast, lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises was flat month on month.
Meanwhile, mortgage approvals dropped from 62,802 to 62,455, taking it below the previous six-month average of 63,968.
Read more: Consumer credit growth shoots back up
“With speculation of an interest rate rise only put to bed earlier this month, it is unsurprising to see a slight reduction in [mortgage] approvals for April, as consumers erred on the side of caution,” Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said.
“However, outdated high-street lending criteria continues to prevent some borrowers from accessing mortgages.
“Customers should not be deemed ‘high risk’ off the back of one or two missed credit payments. These customers are not repeat offenders, nor just numbers on a credit score. Instead, the mainstream sector should adapt to ensure that this group of borrowers are not overlooked and, in the meantime, specialist lenders will continue to help the underserved onto the property ladder.”