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Net home lending in UK at weakest

NET mortgage lending in the United Kingdom was 2.3 billion pounds (US$3.7 billion) in May, the weakest monthly amount in eight years, the British Bankers Association said yesterday.

The report came as further evidence of sluggish lending activity in the UK as banks have tightened criteria and consumers feel the brunt of recession.

Net mortgage lending fell from 2.5 billion pounds in April, and below the six-month average of 3.4 billion pounds, the group said. Lending has risen since November, and has returned to the level of early 2008, it said.

Personal deposits rose by 500 million pounds, down from a 1.2 billion pounds rise in April. Consumer credit fell by 100 million pounds to 95.3 billion pounds, it said.

"Consumers' borrowing appetite remains weak, reflecting uncertainty over household circumstances, so credit growth is negligible and spending activity on credit cards is down on this time last year," said David Dooks, the group's director of statistics.

"Lending to non-financial companies was little changed overall in May."


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