Both borrowing and saving by customers of the UK's main banks picked up during 2014, according to figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA).
New deposits into Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) run by banks were up 57% on 2013, due to the new higher £15,000 annual limit. Meanwhile unsecured borrowing by customers rose by 3.8% during the year - the fastest growth rate since 2008.
Spending on all credit cards rose by 4% during 2014, the BBA said. Richard Woolhouse, the BBA's chief economist, said: "Robust employment data is making many of us feel more secure in our jobs and optimistic about our futures. "That's now feeding through to personal lending and credit card data, suggesting people are happy to finally replace the car or spend on household improvements.
"The mortgage market has been softening since the spring, but for customers taking out home loans right now there are some great deals and we expect the market to begin to grow again this year," he added.
Mortgage lending by the major banks fell back towards the end of the year, in line with a general cooling down of the property market.
But even so, total mortgage lending by the big banks rose by 18% in the year to £130bn, and the number of new mortgages approved by the banks rose by 9% during 2014.
Sam: 29th Jan 2015 14:19:00
Lenders relax maximum mortgage age
Lenders relax maximum mortgage age If you're an older homeowner, the last few years may have been challenging if you were looking to remortgage your property.
Drawdown investors remain optimistic
Drawdown investors remain optimistic The onset of the pension freedoms gave retirees more choice than ever over how to spend their pension pot, and many are making the most of that flexibility by opting for income drawdown, whereby their pension savings remain invested in the stock market. Yet this in itself can pose risks, particularly given how volatile the stock market can be, but luckily, investors don't seem to be put off.
Equity release lending hits record £3.6bn
Equity release lending hits record £3.6bn 2018 proved to be another record year for the equity release sector, with latest figures revealing that retired homeowners released £3.6bn in property wealth over the year, the highest annual total ever seen – and by all accounts, 2019 could go even better!
Motivation to remortgage at 11-year high
Motivation to remortgage at 11-year high The financial incentive for mortgage borrowers reaching the end of their current fixed rate deal to remortgage to a new deal has soared to an 11-year high.
What's coming up in 2018....