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Personal Credit

Volume 981: debated on Friday 28 March 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his answers to the hon. Member for Chichester on 24 January, why the published figures on the sources of funds of the personal sector and the consumer credit tables include bank credit card lending in the initial-free period, but exclude travel and entertainment credit card lending.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1980, c. 515]: As explained in the introductory article Economic Trends, September 1979—the published consumer credit figures are largely an aggregation of certain existing statistics used for the quarterly financial accounts, rather than the result of a special survey with uniformly applied definitions of consumer credit. One might wish to exclude bank credit card lending in the initial interest-free period, as well as the travel and entertainment card lending and other very short term credit such as monthly shop accounts, which are excluded. However this element is not distinguished in the statistical returns from the banks to the Bank of England.Ideally, one should include travel and entertainment card lending and other missing forms of very short-term credit in total personal sector sources of funds. However, quarterly variations in the amounts outstanding are thought to be relatively small and their omission from the financial accounts is probably not a serious matter.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total of personal credit outstanding at the latest date for which figures are available; and, of this total, how much was in respect of loans, hire purchase, credit cards, mail order, retail store accounts and bank overdrafts.

[pursuant to his repy, 25 March 1980, c. 515]. Provisional data relating to end-1979, to be published in the April 1980 issue of Financial Statistics on 1 May, are as follows:

Consumer credit outstanding granted by
£ million
Banking sector5,783
Trustee savings bank166
Finance houses and other consumer credit grantors2,718
Insurance companies260
A complete analysis by type of credit in the manner requested is not available—in some cases because of commercial confidentiality and in others because the data are not collected. However, an analysis of about half of the total is available, relating to credit granted by finance houses and other consumer credit grantors—including those finance houses which are in the banking sector—and retailers. Details are as follows:

£ million
Loans and hire purchase (credit sales and other fixed sum lending)4,258
Mail order724
Credit cards, retail store accounts and bank overdrafts386
Information on total personal sector liabilities outstanding is presented as part of the balance sheet of the personal sector. The latest information on this was published as supplementary table C on page 153 of the February issue of

Financial Statistics, and relates to end-1978. Complete information for end-1979 is not yet available.