26th April 2016

March 2016 figures for the high street banks

Dr Rebecca Harding, Chief Economic Advisor at the BBA, said:

“A surge in buy-to-let and second home buying ahead of the new stamp duty surcharge in April led to a sharp rise in March’s gross mortgage borrowing as people brought transactions forward.

“For households more widely, consumer credit continues to grow above real earnings growth, as improving consumer confidence and low interest rates combine to stimulate borrowing demand for personal loans, cards and overdrafts.

“Business borrowing is moderating within distribution, manufacturing, food and accommodation sectors, as large corporates use capital markets for their funding and both large and small businesses continue to build up deposits”.

Key points:

  • Gross mortgage borrowing of £17.1 billion in March was 64% higher than a year ago and the highest borrowing since April 2008 following a reported sharp increase in purchase of buy-to-let and second homes, ahead of the increase in stamp duty on 1 April 2016.
  • The number of mortgage approvals in March was 20% higher than a year ago, with remortgaging up 25% and house purchase up 14%.
  • Unsecured borrowing by households is growing at around 6% per annum reflecting low interest rates and relatively strong household finances.

hsbmar16