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Lenders must make sure people can afford to borrow, says Citizens Advice

29 March 2017

The Bank of England’s latest money and credit statistics show consumer borrowing increasing by 10.5% in the year to February to £196 billion.

As the Bank and the Financial Conduct Authority launch reviews into lending practices, Citizens Advice says more must be done to make sure lenders across all consumer credit markets behave responsibly towards their customers.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said:

“While households are struggling to meet everyday costs like rent and bills, the amount that people are borrowing on credit cards is also continuing to rise.

“In the last year Citizens Advice has helped 200,000 people with household debts and 150,000 people with consumer credit debts, including personal loans and overdrafts.

“Turning to credit without a plan about how to pay it back can lead to spiralling debt, so it’s good news that the Bank of England and the FCA is looking into how robustly lenders are checking whether people can afford to repay what they borrow.

“Anyone who is concerned about their finances should contact Citizens Advice for free debt advice.”

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
  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.