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Citizens Advice responds to latest Bank of England figures on consumer borrowing

30 January 2018

Bank of England consumer credit statistics released today show consumer borrowing has risen by 9.5% in the year to December 2017, ending a period of slowing growth and pushing the total to £207.1 billion.

The 8.9% growth in credit card lending has pushed the total borrowed on cards beyond the £70 billion mark to £70.2 billion.

In 2017 Citizens Advice helped more than 340,000 people with debt issues, including 121,000 people who had problems with consumer debts such as credit card, rent-to-own and overdrafts.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:

“It is a cause for concern that the growth in consumer borrowing has quickened at a time when many people are struggling with debts.

“We are especially worried that the growth of credit card borrowing has also ticked up after a period of slowdown as our research shows people who use credit cards are more likely to get trapped in debt.

“It is important that credit card companies play their part in making sure people do not take on unaffordable debt by scrapping uninvited credit limit increases.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.