Leeds tops personal loan debt table

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People living in a parts of Leeds have the highest average level of personal loan debt per head in Britain, according to figures published for the first time by major lenders.

Data compiled voluntarily by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) mapped out how people and businesses across the country rely on more than £1 trillion worth of lending.

The figures, which for the first time break lending down to cover more than 9,000 postcodes, also show that London accounts for around one quarter of the total value of the country’s outstanding mortgage debt.

The research combined lending data with population records and found that people living in the Leeds postal sector of LS17, which includes Harewood and Moortown, owe an average of £1,516 in personal loans per head, which was the highest figure found for this type of debt.

People living in the postcode area of M3 3 in Manchester, which takes in Sale and Trafford, had the second highest level of personal loan debt per person at £1,408 on average, while those living in PR7 7 in Preston owe £1,270 per head.

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Postcodes in Chester, Swansea and Hull also featured highly in terms of how much people owe per person on their personal loan debt, while Milton Keynes appeared twice on the “top 10” list.

The findings to not cover all of Britain’s lenders. Financial institutions accounting for around three-fifths (60%) of personal loan lending in Britain, three-fifths (60%) of bank lending to small and medium-sized businesses and three-quarters (73%) of mortgage lending contributed information to the overall findings.

Those participating were Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, RBS, Santander UK, Nationwide Building Society and Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks.

The figures showing how mortgage debt is distributed across the country also show that London makes up £227 billion of the £891 billion worth of outstanding loans.

The figures are published with a six-month time lag and future ones will be released on a quarterly basis.

The London postcode with the highest level of mortgage debt is SW11 6, covering Clapham and Battersea in south London, where households owed £649 million. This was followed by E14 9, which covers areas of Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf, where families owe £629 million on their mortgages.

The region with the lowest level of outstanding mortgage debt is North East England, which accounts for £25 billion worth of the total.

Fears have been raised in recent months that the housing market in London is overheating and separate figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that house prices in the English capital have surged by 12% year-on-year to £437,000. A house in London now costs almost three times one in the North East typically.

CML director general Paul Smee said: “As you would expect, strong levels of mortgage lending are broadly correlated with those areas where there is a strong resident population.”

Meanwhile, the BBA said the findings showed that many areas outside London and the South East receive a bigger chunk of small business lending proportionately than those within these regions.

For example, while London accounts for an estimated 29% of Britain’s small and medium-sized business turnover, but only 21% of lending to SMEs goes to the English capital.

Meanwhile, Scotland accounts for 8% of Britain’s SME lending but 6% of the country’s estimated SME turnover. Wales accounts for 5% of the country’s SME lending but 3% of its estimated turnover.

BBA chief executive Anthony Browne said the drive to publish the figures “makes the British financial services industry significantly more transparent”.

He said: “Lenders are supplying vital funding to SMEs across the country - proportionately, they are lending more to businesses across Britain than to those in London and the South East.”

Here are the postcode areas which owe the highest amounts in personal loans per person according to the findings, with the amount owed per head:

1. LS17 0 Leeds, £1,516

2. M3 3, Manchester, £1,408

3. PR7 7, Preston, £1,270

4. CH47 0, Chester, £1,238

5. SA7 0, Swansea, £1,222

6. HU1 3, Hull, £1,214

7. MK9 4, Milton Keynes, £1,205

8. TD12 4, Galashiels, £1,204

9. MK42 6, Milton Keynes, £1,182

10. NE13 9, Newcastle upon Tyne, £1,156

Here is the value of outstanding mortgages per region:

* East Midlands, £44.5 billion

* East of England, £60.3 billion

* London, £227.3 billion

* North East, £25.9 billion

* North West, £80.9 billion

* Scotland, £63.8 billion

* South East, £161.4 billion

* South West, £79.3 billion

* Wales, £28.5 billion

* West Midlands, £61.6 billion

* Yorkshire and the Humber £57.8 billion

* Britain £891.4 billion