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High street lending suffered sharp fall in October

Published 21/12/2010

Consumer borrowing continued to fall during October, driven by a sharp drop in high street lending, figures suggested.

Total lending by members of the Finance -amp; Leasing Association (FLA) fell to £3.93bn during the month, 8% less than in October 2009.

But far bigger falls were recorded in some areas. Borrowing through store cards were down 33% year on year to £145m and store instalment credit dropped by 27% to £152m.

Credit card borrowing was 7% lower than a year earlier, although at £2.36bn it was still the single largest area of lending. Borrowing through second mortgages, under which people can take out loans secured against their home, dropped by 20% to £24m. Car finance was 3% lower at £983m.

The only area of lending which increased during the month was direct unsecured loans, which rose 4% to £199m.

The association said retail credit was an important factor in any economic recovery.

Fiona Hoyle, FLA head of consumer finance, said: "The latest figures show a continued decline in most types of consumer credit, and particularly for store cards and in-store credit."

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