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. These statistics are for the month of February and therefore will be largely unaffected by the impact of COVID-19.
- Mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to 73,500 in February.
- The net flow of consumer credit was £0.9 billion in February. There was no additional borrowing on credit cards.
- UK businesses raised £1.3 billion of finance in February in net terms. This was the strongest for five months.
Lending to individuals (Tables A-E)
Mortgage lending (Tables D and E):
Mortgage approvals for house purchase (an indicator for future lending) had continued to rise in February, reaching 73,500 (Chart 1). This took the series to its highest since January 2014, significantly stronger than in recent years. Approvals for remortgage also rose on the month to 53,400. Net mortgage borrowing by households – which lags approvals – was £4.0 billion in February, close to the £4.1 billion average seen over the past six months. The annual growth rate for mortgage borrowing picked up to 3.5%.
Chart 1: Mortgage approvals
Consumer credit (Tables B and C):
The extra amount borrowed by consumers in order to buy goods and services fell to £0.9 billion in February, slightly below the £1.1 billion average seen since July 2018. Within this net borrowing on credit cards was zero, weaker than recent months. The £0.9 billion was fully accounted for by other loans and advances. These slightly weak flows in February meant the annual growth rate of consumer credit fell to 5.7% in February, slightly below the level it had been hovering around since May 2019 (Chart 2).
Chart 2: Consumer credit
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 February, UK businesses borrowed £1.3 billion of finance from these sources, which although below the average of the past two years, was stronger than the previous four months (Chart 3).
In net terms, UK businesses borrowed no extra funds from banks in February, and the annual growth rate of bank lending to UK businesses remained at 0.8%. Within this, the growth rate of borrowing from SMEs picked up to 0.7%, whilst borrowing from large businesses remained at 0.9%.
Firms borrowed an extra £1.3 billion from financial markets in February. This was driven by £0.8 billion net issuance of both bonds and commercial paper. This was offset by £0.3 billion of net buybacks of equity.
Chart 3: Net financed raised by PNFCs1
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 February rose by £6.0 billion, primarily driven by a £4.8 billion increase in households’ holdings of money. Within this, interest bearing deposits accounted for £4.1 billion (Chart 4).
The amount of money held by PNFCs also rose in February, by £3.8 billion. The amount of money held by NIOFCs fell by £2.6 billion.
Chart 4: Broad money by sector
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Next release date: 1 May 2020