According to figures from the Bank of England, UK credit card borrowing is growing at its fastest pace in 11 years, with consumers spending £16.4 billion on cards in April 2017. The surge takes total UK outstanding card debt up to £68.1 billion, a 9.7% year on year increase and the fastest increase in borrowing since February 2006.
The record levels have compounded worries around the unsustainability of credit card borrowing and lending standards in the UK. Consumer credit has been steadily increasing over the past few years, although borrowing via cards is only now catching up with other forms of credit, which rose 10.7% as a whole in April. Research carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) suggests that these figures could increase, as more households turn to credit cards to keep on top of their day-to-day spending. Using data from the Office for National Statistics and Office for Budget Responsibility, TUC claims that average household debt could hit highs of £15,000 by 2020.
"The surge of credit card borrowing takes total UK outstanding card debt up to £68.1 billion, a 9.7% year on year increase and the fastest increase in borrowing since February 2006."