The BBA’s latest monthly report also reports that lending to the private sector in January rose by an underlying £7,261 million, the strongest monthly rise since last September, to £799,028 million. Lending to financial companies also increased for the first time in three months.
Ian Mullen, chief executive of BBA, said: "There was no sign of consumer demand slowing in the first month of the year. Mortgage lending was only slightly below last summer’s peak month, while personal lending continued at the higher level seen in recent months. In contrast, credit card borrowing returned to the subdued picture seen before the Christmas spending surge in November and December. At the same time, individuals deposits were healthy and there are a few signs of financial strain across the private sector, as customers manage their borrowing across a range of products."