LONDON Dec 28 The number of mortgages approved
by British banks fell slightly last month after hitting a
five-month high in October, while consumer credit continued to
expand strongly, industry figures showed on Wednesday.
The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said banks approved
40,659 mortgages in November, falling from 40,835 in October and
down 9 percent compared with a year ago.
Credit card lending increased by 231 million pounds ($283
million), the biggest increase in four months.
British consumers brushed off June's Brexit vote and drove
the economy to expand faster than expected in the third quarter,
but higher inflation next year looks set to curb household
The BBA pointed to a strong increase in personal bank
account deposits, up 1.2 billion pounds on the month.
"This growth in personal deposits may ... suggest that
consumers are looking to grow their cash reserves against
potential economic uncertainties, such as an expectation of
lower wage growth," said Rebecca Harding, BBA chief economist.
($1 = 0.8173 pounds)
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, Editing by Paul Sandle)