Money and Credit - December 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 January 2020


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 system.

Key points:

  • The net flow of consumer credit was £1.2 billion in December, compared to £0.7 billion in November.
  • Net mortgage borrowing increased to £4.6 billion in December, and mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to 67,200.
  • UK businesses made net repayments of £2.6 billion of finance in December, driven by net repayments of bonds.

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 in order to buy goods and services increased to £1.2 billion in December, in line with the £1.1 billion average seen since July 2018. Within this, net borrowing on credit cards recovered from a very weak November to £0.4 billion. Net borrowing for other loans and advances remained the same as in November, at £0.8 billion.

The annual growth rate of consumer credit rose to 6.1% in December, having ticked down to 5.9% in November. The growth rate for consumer credit has been close to this level since May 2019. Prior to this it had fallen steadily from an average of 10.3% in 2017.

Chart 1: Consumer credit

Seasonally adjusted

Mortgage lending (Tables D and E):

Net mortgage borrowing by households was £4.6 billion in December, above the £4.2 billion average seen over the past six months. Despite these stronger flows, the annual growth rate for mortgage borrowing remained at 3.4%. Mortgage approvals for house purchase (an indicator for future lending) also picked up in December, to 67,200, above the 65,900 average of the past six months. Approvals for remortgage rose slightly on the month to 49,700.

Lending to businesses (Tables F-I)

Businesses can raise funds by borrowing from banks (via loans) or from financial markets (via instruments such as bonds and commercial paper, or with equity). In December, UK businesses made net repayments of £2.6 billion of finance from these sources.

Firms repaid £2.9 billion to financial markets in December. This was driven by £2.7 billion net repayments of bonds, reflecting both weak gross issuance and strong gross repayments. Firms also made net repayments of equity, though at £0.3 billion these were smaller than the recent average. Net issuance of commercial paper was zero in December.

UK businesses repaid £0.5 billion of bank loans in December, compared to an average net borrowing of £1.1 billion over the previous six months. These weaker flows resulted in a fall in the annual growth rate of bank lending to 3.2%. Within this, the growth rate of borrowing from large businesses and SMEs fell to 4.4% and 0.8% respectively.

Chart 2: Net financed raised by PNFCs1

Seasonally adjusted

1. There is a discrepancy between the total of net finance raised and its components due to the seasonal adjustment methodology.

Broad money (Table J)

Broad money (M4ex) is a measure of the amount of money held by households, non-financial businesses (PNFCs) and financial companies that do not act as intermediaries, such as pension funds or insurance companies (NIOFCs). Total money holdings in December rose by £6.8 billion, compared to £14.0 billion in November.

The amount of money held by households rose by £3.6 billion in December, compared to £4.9 billion in November. Meanwhile, the amount of money held by PNFCs decreased by £0.2 billion.

Chart 3: Broad money by sector

Seasonally adjusted


If you have any comments or queries about this release please email

Next release date: 2 March 2020

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