UK’s £200bn consumer debt unsustainable, S&P warns

Borrowing should raise ‘red flags’ as losses can be sudden and sharp and could worsen if interest rate rises, rating agency says

The rapid rise in UK consumer debt to £200bn from car finance, personal loans and credit cards is unsustainable at current growth rates and should raise “red flags” for the major lenders, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has warned.

In detailed analysis of the sector, S&P warned that losses from this form of lending suffered by banks and other financial institutions could be “sharp and very sudden” in an economic downturn and may be exacerbated if the Bank of England increased interest rates.

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