Two Leeds postcodes ‘have high debt levels’

Debt levels on the increase

Debt levels on the increase

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TWO areas of Leeds have been named as having among the highest levels of personal loan debt per head of the population, according to data released by major lenders.

The LS17 and LS1 postcodes are listed as having personal debt levels of £1,380 and £1,323 respectively.

The data comes from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The news comes as Leeds battles to become the a payday loan-free city to help stop some of the city’s poorest families from being trapped in a cycle of poverty and debt.

As previously reported in the YEP, up to 60,000 people in Leeds could be forced to use high-interest lenders.

Around 22,500 people are believed to have taken out payday loans to pay their bills.

The BBA’s chief economist Richard Woolhouse said it is hard to draw any firm conclusions about the figures but lenders are publishing them as part of efforts to increase transparency.

He said: “When we look up and down the country, we can see a good spread of lending.

“That’s important for individuals, businesses and the wider economy.”

Those behind the figures said they are not a direct indication of the “financial health” of borrowers and outstanding levels of debt are not a reflection of how strong current demand for new loans is in a particular area.

The BBA’s figures showed that the regions outside London and the South East receive a higher proportion of SME lending than their share of turnover.

For example, London accounts for 21 per cent of Britain’s SME lending, but a higher proportion of its turnover, at 29 per cent.

Meanwhile, Wales accounts for 5 per cent of Britain’s SME lending but only around 3 per cent of its turnover. Scotland accounts for 8 per cent of SME lending, and around 6 per cent of turnover.