Figures reveal UK's debt hotspots

The Momentum UK Team 08 April 2014

New figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA) reveal the ten UK postcode areas with the highest level of personal debt per person.

Today the BBA has released a vast amount of data about lending to individuals and businesses, classified by more than 9,000 postcodes in the UK. Combining their figures with data from the 2011 census, they have been able to map out the 10 UK postcodes with the highest levels of personal loans per capita.

Top of the list was the postcode area BA1 9, which includes Lansdown - a suburb of Bath. This area was found to have average personal loans per person of £2,311. Following close behind was EC1V 2 - a stretch of City Road between Old Street roundabout and the Angel tube station in London - with a figure of £2,188 per person. In third place was NE66 4, which includes several villages to the north and west of Alnwick in Northumberland.

BBA chief economist Richard Woolhouse said:

“We've been working hard to make this data as accurate and comprehensive as possible and it now covers 96 per cent of lending to smaller businesses and 99 per cent of personal loans by postcode sector.

“But this data is complex and it remains very difficult to draw firm conclusions about lending at a local level.”

The figures include data from Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest, Santander, and the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks. These institutions represent 60% of the personal loan market. Some data has been redacted to “protect customer confidentiality”.

Separate figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reveal that a quarter of Britain’s £897 billion in mortgage debt is owed by people in London. The CML also found that those in the north of England had a 78% likelihood of holding a variable-rate mortgage, compared with 35% in the south of England. Alla Koblyakova, who carried out the research, said:

“As variable-rate mortgages are more sensitive to financial shocks, it is a matter of national economic concern that there is such a geographical imbalance in the way that mortgages are distributed in the UK.”