UK Finance

  1. Heathrow Border Force officer dies after catching coronavirus

    A UK Border Force officer who worked at Heathrow Airport has died after contracting coronavirus.

    The unnamed man is thought to have died last week after feeling unwell at work.

    The Public and Commercial Services Union has called for all officers to be equipped with protective equipment and described the situation as a "disgrace".

    Elsewhere in the UK:

    • Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said he is sorry that 13,000 letters for people most vulnerable to coronavirus were mistakenly sent to the wrong addresses. More than 80,000 people are meant to get a "shielding letter".
    • More than £1.1bn has been handed to UK businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
    • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accepted assurances from the UK Government that suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) are not being ordered to prioritise the NHS in England over Scotland and Wales .
  2. Personal borrowing climbs by 14%

    Piles of money

    More from those UK Finance figures published this morning.

    Personal borrowing through loans last month was 14% higher than in December 2018 but UK Finance said that reflected "the exceptionally weak demand a year earlier".

    Credit card spending climbed 7.3% over the year to £11.8bn in December but the actual level of borrowing on cards is currently growing at 2.4% a year.

  3. Home loan approvals climb 7.4%

    Homes

    However mortgage approvals in 2019 climbed 7.4% compared to the previous year according to the UK Finance figures, with December approvals up 24% compared to December 2018.

    "This should feed through into to a very active first quarter of 2020 for home sales and completion," predicted Mike Scott, analyst at estate agent Yopa.

    "These figures provide further evidence for a post-election surge in housing market confidence and activity," he added.

  4. Mortgage lending falls 1.1%

    Homes

    Residential mortgage lending fell 1.1% to £22.2bn in December 2019, according to the latest UK Finance household lending and deposits data published this morning.

    "It is perhaps disappointing that mortgage lending dipped slightly in 2019 but there is not much in it and UK Finance suggests that there is still a stronger long term lending trend," said Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.

    "Demand cannot remain pent-up indefinitely and on the ground we have not been surprised by the determination of some buyers to take advantage of improving affordability from almost record-low mortgage rates and rising real wages."