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UK ups borrowing while savings stagnate

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For every pound saved over the last quarter, the British public borrowed 69 pence, according to Unbiased.

Research from Unbiased, an online independent financial adviser search facility, revealed consumer borrowing (not including mortgage debt) amounted to £22.4bn in the first quarter of 2008. This is £13bn more than during the same period in 2007.

In the first quarter of this year, there was 69 pence borrowed for every pound saved by UK consumers. This is compared to 29 pence borrowed against every pound during the same period last year.

Unbiased also found that, as well as increasing borrowing levels, consumers reduced savings with the amount added to “rainy day funds” dropping by £11bn to £32.7bn in quarter one 2008.

David Elms, chief executive of, said: “This year has started turbulently for many with regards to their finances. Consumers are playing double jeopardy – not only increasing the amount they are borrowing, but also reducing the amount they are saving. The early months of the year have traditionally revealed British consumers at their most financially stretched, the worry is that this year the scenario is even more bleak than normal. We have increased our debt two fold since the same time last year – and reduced our savings.”

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