Who has the highest level of personal debt in the UK?

25 April 2014

Residents of wealthy Bath have on average the highest amount of personal loan debt in the UK, according to new figures.

Each adult living in the BA1 9 postcode, a northern suburb of the city, has an average personal loan of £2,311, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) has revealed.

In a sign of how affluent the area is, the average house price for the postcode is nearly £750,000 according to Zoopla.

The postcode is one of only three in the entire country where the average loan is above £2,000, with the others being EC1 V2, the Shoreditch area of east London, (£2,188) and NE66 4 in Newcastle upon Tyne (£2,065).

However, the figures, which were drawn from Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, RBS, Santander, Nationwide, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks cover 60% of the personal loan market in Britain and the BBA has warned that they don't give the full picture about personal debt in the UK.

Good credit rating

BBA chief economist, Richard Woodhouse, said: "This data is complex and it remains very difficult to draw firm conclusions about lending at a local level."

While it might be surprising that an affluent city such as Bath may have the highest level of personal loan debt, the figures could be seen as a sign of returning confidence to the economy.

People need a good credit rating to be approved for a loan and the banks to be confident that they will repay it.

Less wealthy people are more likely to use overdrafts and payday loan companies in order to make ends meet.

Overall the report found the total amount of outstanding debt in the UK stands at £30 billion. The two regions with the largest amount of personal loan debt, excluding mortgages, are London with £4.8 billion and the South with £4.5 billion.

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