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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Credit card debt reaches new heights
A UK high street full of shoppers
Renewed high street spending in july has led to rising debt
Credit card debt has increased by 16% in the last year according to a new survey.

Credit outstanding totalled 43.7bn at the end of July.

There are now 59 million cards in the purses and wallets of consumers in the UK.

And the average card holder owes 1,400 according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA) survey.

Credit card borrowing accounts for some 30% of all outstanding consumer credit and some 60% of all new lending.

Seemingly there is no sign of the credit boom abating as July brought the largest number of credit card transactions -164 million - since December 2001.

However, the yearly rate of increase in credit card debt has slowed a touch compared to a year ago.
In July 2001, the year-on-year increase in credit card debt was 18%.

Re-invigorated High Street

The increased spending on cards in July reflected re-invigorated High Street spending after the World Cup and Golden Jubilee, according to BBA chief executive Ian Mullen.

What is more, Mr Mullen believes that the number of UK holidaymakers using their cards abroad also accounts for the July credit figures.

"For many people travelling abroad, the credit card is, in effect, their common currency," he said.

See also:

20 Jun 02 | Working Lunch
30 Jul 01 | Business
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