News & Views - Savantor

Credit Cards – the state of the nation

Monday, 16 January 2012

At the beginning of the year it is traditional to assess the prospects for the next 12 months and for credit cards it seems like a mixed bag.  New research from the Bank of England reveals how credit card limits have begun to rise again.  According to the bank's latest Credit Conditions Survey, limits increased in the fourth quarter of 2011.  However, demand for credit card lending fell slightly in the final quarter of 2011.  The Bank of England predicts that demand for credit will fall even further in the first quarter of 2012.

A report from Santander showed a 4% fall in UK credit card spending last year.  However, the total number of transactions per cardholder has increased by 1%.  While there has been an increase in credit card spending on mail order, eating out, utility bills and petrol, there has been a fall in the use of credit cards for larger purchases such as clothing and travel.

The Post Office predict there will be a big rise in credit card spending this month, as households across the UK struggle to cope with everyday costs following the expensive festive season.  According to the Post Office more than 2 million adults expect to spend more on plastic in January 2012 than they did during the same month last year.

The Post Office's latest annual Consumer Credit Report reveals that 12 million people -- 36% of all credit card holders -- anticipate they will need to use their credit cards to pay for everyday living costs this month.  Others (32%) will be utilising plastic to make the most of the January bargains on offer in the next few weeks, while 22% intend to get a head start on the summer rush and book a holiday.

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