Has Brexit changed people’s behaviour towards credit?



Credit card lending slowed to 8.5% in July – its weakest pace in nearly three years. Is this a reaction to Brexit or are we getting better at money management?


Credit card borrowing slowed to an annual growth rate of 8.5% in July, according to figures released on 31 August by the Bank of England. To some, the figure warns of a soft economy post-Brexit. Yet research by Vanquis Bank instead indicates that it may represent better money management by consumers.


The research, conducted by Vanquis Bank at the start of August, shows that almost 32% of the nation who have, or previously had, a credit card pay off the full amount each month.


Conscious money management by consumers is further evidenced by a 54% majority who feel their credit rating is good or excellent. At a time of stagnant wages and increasing cost of living, it is also reassuring to learn that only 36% of the nation consider themselves in debt.


The sensible use of credit to improve a personal credit rating and credit history is a strategy recommended by Vanquis Bank. A credit card from Vanquis Bank offers the flexibility to make payments that suit monthly expenditure, it is advised that more than the minimum payment is affordable each month. A credit card is not suitable for long term borrowing, a personal loan may be more suitable for repaying the purchase of a large item over multiple months.


Information about how credit scores work and how to improve credit history is provided on Vanquis Bank’s Understanding Credit page.


When analysing money management across the UK, the North West leads the way in paying off a credit card in full, with 42% doing this on a monthly basis. Greater London also rates highly, with 39.5% of Londoners paying off their cards monthly.


Position Region % paying off a credit card in full each month
1. North West 42%
2. Greater London 39.5%
3. East Midlands 35.5%
4. West Midlands 34%
4. Wales 34%
5. Yorkshire & Humber 33%
6. Scotland 32%
7. East of England 30.5%
8. Inner London 30%
8. North East 30%
9. South West 29.5%
10. South East 26.5%
11. Northern Ireland 24%


Over 55’s are the highest rated age group for credit card repayments, with 44% paying off the full amount each month. The younger generation outperform their older peers, with 24% of 18-34 year olds clearing their credit cards on a monthly basis compared to 21% of 25-54 year olds.


The North East rank high for debt control; 71% consider themselves debt free, a figure matched by the South West. People in the West Midlands and Greater London are also predominantly debt free at 68% in both regions.


Position Region % considering themselves debt free
1. North East 71%
2. South West 71%
3. East of England 69%
4. Greater London 68.5%
5. West Midlands 68%
6. East Midlands 67%
7. South East 65%
7. North West 65%
8. Wales 62.5%
8. Northern Irelandt 62.5%
9. Yorkshire & Humber 60.5%
10. Scotland 61.5%
11. Inner London 44%


For information on how a Vanquis Bank credit card can help money management visit: https://www.vanquis.co.uk/credit-cards