Loans and overdrafts 'more popular'

Overdrafts on bank statement
Image caption Banks were very cautious about extending debt during the financial crisis

Borrowers are becoming more confident in taking out personal loans and overdrafts, according to the High Street banks.

Annual growth in this type of borrowing, of 4.4% in February, was the fastest in six years, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said.

During and after the financial crisis, consumers were more cautious.

There are fears that some people in debt could suffer were interest rates to rise from their historic low.

Some people may now be deciding to borrow to make purchases that they had put off in recent years.

"Demand for loans and other types of personal borrowing is rising at its fastest rate since the financial crisis," said Richard Woolhouse, chief economist at the BBA.

"Consumers are feeling increasingly confident about buying big ticket items, such as cars or home improvements, as the recovery really begins to take hold."

However, he pointed out that saving in banks had slowed, partly owing to the comparatively high rates offered for new Pensioner Bonds.

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