Belfast Telegraph

Banks curtailing consumer borrowing, survey shows

By Vicky Shaw

Lenders reined in the availability of non-mortgage credit to households in the first quarter of 2018, a survey of banks and building societies has found.

The Bank of England's credit conditions survey said lenders reported that the availability of unsecured credit to households fell significantly in January to March.

The decrease was "largely driven by a changing appetite to risk", the report said.

The length of interest-free periods for balance transfers on new credit card lending also decreased significantly in the first quarter of this year, the survey found.

Lenders reported that credit-scoring criteria for granting both credit card and other loan applications tightened during the period.

The availability of unsecured credit is expected to remain unchanged over the next three months, the report said.

The credit conditions survey asks banks and building societies about the past three months and the next three months as part of the bank's role in maintaining financial stability.

The latest survey took place between February 19 and March 9. The report also said mortgage availability to households was unchanged over the previous three months, with no further change expected in the coming three months.

Demand for mortgages from home-buyers was reported by lenders to have fallen significantly in the first quarter.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.