Borrowing dip in August

MORTGAGE approvals fell in August to their lowest level in six months, while consumers also chose to continue to pay down debts, the latest figures from the Bank of England (BoE) showed yesterday.

The Bank said 47,372 mortgages were approved in August down slightly from the July figure of 48,619.

Meanwhile, approvals for remortgaging stood at 28,042, which was up on July’s figure of 27,250 and the six-month average of 26,765.

Total net mortgage lending was higher than in July, increasing by £1.7bn. The previous six-month average was £700m.

But net consumer credit, which includes credit card borrowing, overdrafts and personal loans, fell by £120m, the biggest drop since November 2009, the Bank said. That brought the total net lending figure down to £1.5bn for the month.

The figures will be a disappointment to the BoE. On Tuesday deputy governor Charlie Bean said Bank policy was designed to encourage people to spend some of their savings in order to stimulate the eonomy.