Money and Credit - January 2020

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 02 March 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:

  • Mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to 70,900, the highest since February 2016.
  • The annual growth rate of consumer credit remained at 6.1% in January, stabilising after the downward trend seen over past three years.
  • UK businesses made net repayments of £0.4 billion of finance in January, driven by net repayments of loans.

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)

Mortgage lending (Tables D and E):

Mortgage approvals for house purchase (an indicator for future lending) rose to 70,900 in January, 4.4% higher than in December, and the highest since February 2016. This takes the series above the very narrow range seen over past few years. Approvals for remortgage also rose on the month, by 3.9%, to 52,100. Net mortgage borrowing - which lags approvals - by households was £4.0 billion in January, slightly below the £4.3 billion average seen over the past six months. The annual growth rate for mortgage borrowing remained at 3.4%.

Chart 1: Loan approvals

Seasonally adjusted

Consumer credit (Tables B and C):

The annual growth rate of consumer credit (credit used by consumers to buy goods and services) remained at 6.1% in January. The growth rate has been around this level since May 2019, having fallen steadily from a peak of 10.9% in late 2016.

These growth rates represent a £1.2 billion flow of consumer credit in January, in line with the £1.1 billion average seen since July 2018. Within this, net borrowing on credit cards fell a little to £0.2 billion. Net borrowing for other loans and advances rose slightly to £1.0 billion.

Chart 2: Consumer credit

Seasonally adjusted

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 January, UK businesses made net repayments of £0.4 billion of finance to these sources, continuing the weakness seen in 2019 Q4.

UK businesses repaid £4.1 billion of bank loans in January. This predominantly reflected higher repayments. These weaker flows resulted in a fall in the annual growth rate of bank lending to 0.8%, the weakest since July 2018. Within this, the growth rate of borrowing from large businesses and SMEs fell to 0.9% and 0.5% respectively.

Firms borrowed £2.0 billion from financial markets in January. This was driven by £2.7 billion net issuance of commercial paper, the highest since December 2017, reflecting strong gross issuance at £6.7 billion. Net issuance of bonds recovered from a very weak December to £0.2 billion, though remained well below the £0.9 billion average seen over the past six months. Net buybacks of equity by firms were £0.9 billion in January.

Chart 3: 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 January rose by £9.4 billion, primarily driven by a £4.2 billion increase in NIOFC’s money holding.

The amount of money held by households rose by £2.8 billion in January, compared to £3.3 billion in December. The amount of money held by PNFCs also rose by £2.3 billion.


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

Next release date: 30 March 2020

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