Money and Credit - April 2019

Our monthly Money and Credit statistical release is made up of three parts: broad money and credit, lending to individual and lending to businesses.
Published on 31 May 2019

These monthly statistics on borrowing and deposits by households and businesses are used by the Bank’s policy committees to understand economic trends and developments in the banking system1.

Key points

  • Consumer credit increased by £0.9 billion in April, in line with the monthly average increase since July 2018. The annual growth in consumer credit continued slowing, to 5.9%.
  • Net mortgage lending was £4.3 billion in April, slightly higher than the average of £3.8 billion seen over the previous six months.
  • UK businesses raised £5.7 billion of net finance in April, driven by borrowing from banks and bond markets.

References in the text point to the summary tables below. For further statistics, please see our interactive charts and Bankstats tables.

Lending to individuals (Tables A-E)

Consumer credit (Tables B and C):

The extra amount borrowed by consumers to buy goods and services was £0.9 billion in April (Chart 1). This was in line with the average since July 2018, but below the £1.5 billion average between January 2016 and June 2018. Within consumer credit, net borrowing for other loans and advances increased to £0.7 billion, whilst credit card lending fell slightly to £0.2 billion.

Chart 1: Consumer credit flows

Seasonally adjusted
Chart 1: Consumer credit flows

The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued slowing, reaching 5.9% in April. It is now five percentage points below its peak in November 2016 and the lowest since June 2014.

Mortgage lending (Tables D and E):

Net mortgage borrowing by households was strong for the second month in a row, relative to the recent past, in April at £4.3 billion. Over the previous six months it averaged £3.8 billion. The annual growth rate of mortgage lending remains unchanged at 3.3%, the level it has been at since August 2018.

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase, a leading indicator of mortgage lending, ticked up in April to around 66,300. This was close to the average of the past two years and reversed the fall seen in March. The number of approvals for remortgaging was broadly unchanged, at around 49,400.

Lending to businesses (Tables F-I)

The amount businesses borrowed from UK banks and financial markets (in the form of bonds, equity and commercial paper) increased by a relatively strong £5.7 billion in April (Chart 2). Within this, bank lending increased by £4.4 billion, primarily reflecting borrowing by the manufacturing industry. Businesses’ net bond issuance (a form of longer-term borrowing from financial markets) was £2.9 billion, reflecting strong gross issuance for a second month. Net equity issuance was also positive in April, and its strongest value since February 2018. In contrast, net commercial paper issuance (a form of short-term borrowing from financial markets) fell by £1.1 billion in April, as repayments picked up following strong gross issuance over the previous five months.

Chart 2: Net financed raised by PNFCs2

Seasonally adjusted
Chart 2: Bank lending to businesses growth

The annual growth rate of bank lending increased to 3.2% in April, reflecting the strong monthly flow. Within this, the growth rate of lending to large businesses increased to 4.9%, slightly higher than the average of 4.5% seen over the previous six months, whilst the growth rate of lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) ticked up to 0.2%.

Broad money (Table J)

The total amount of money held by UK households, private non-financial corporations (PNFCs) and non-intermediary other financial corporations (NIOFCs) (broad money or M4ex) increased by £9.1 billion in April (Chart 3), significantly above the recent average. Within this, households’ money holdings increased by £4.7 billion, above the £3.8 billion average of the previous six months. This was driven by strong deposits into interest bearing instant access savings accounts, and to a lesser extent, continued strong flows into Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). Money held by PNFCs increased by £1.7 billion, also above the average of the previous six months.

Chart 3: Broad money by sector

Seasonally adjusted

Chart 3: Net consumer credit flows
  1. The policy for placing footnotes on series breaks in Money and Credit data was revised for April 2019 data. From this date onwards, only methodology changes and significant revisions to previously published data will be routinely noted. For details of the reason behind series breaks, please see: Further details about changes, flows, growth rates data.
  2. There is a discrepancy between the total of net finance raised and its components due to the seasonal adjustment methodology.

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