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Fall in goodwill loans accelerated from March, says Bank of Scotland research

Borrowing money from friends and family has fallen by 61% and lending by 51% since March last year, according to a Bank of Scotland survey.

The bank’s latest How Scotland Lives   study from Bank of Scotland suggests borrowing significant sums reduced by 30% between March 2019 and March 2020, then by a further 44% throughout lockdown.

Just 14% of Scots have borrowed money from friends or family in the last 12 months, compared with the 36% who had done so up to March 2019.   

Loaning of money to loved ones reduced by 29% between March 2019 and March 2020, then by a further 31%, in lockdown. Just 20% have lent money to loved ones in the last year compared with just over 41% in March 2019.

Bank of Scotland managing director Tara Foley said: “This significant shift in loved ones’ borrowing or lending money to each other suggests recent uncertainty has made people much less likely to be reliant on each other financially.

Percentage of people who have borrowed money from friends or family, by region


  March 2019 March 2020 June 2020
North East Scotland 37% 24% 16%
Highlands and Islands 32% 24% 10%
South Scotland 32% 17% 14%
West Scotland 34% 26% 12%
Central 33% 31% 12%
Mid-Scotland and Fife 36% 27% 13%
Lothians 41% 26% 15%
Scotland 36% 25% 14%
UK 31% 22% 13%

“Even before the pandemic hit in Scotland, there had been a sharp reduction in borrowing and lending between friends and family, and this has been compounded further by the pandemic. We expect to see this change over the next 12 months, as people try to balance the financial fallout of Covid-19, with wanting to move forward with life plans after months of restrictions.”

For the survey, YouGov questioned 3,048 people in March 2020 then a similar sample profile of 3,038 in June 2020.

Of those who borrowed money recently, 17% did so to consolidate debt, 15% to buy a car and 13% for home improvements. One in four loaned money to love ones without knowing what it was to be used for.

The survey found 53% of people in Scotland who borrowed money felt unhappy about doing so while 26% said they felt comfortable borrowing money from family.

Just 49% of those lending to family said they were pleased to be able to help someone out, compared with 58% in 2019, and only 44% expect to be paid back compared with 46%.

Those in the Highlands and Islands were least likely to borrow money from friends and family, with just one in 10 having done so in the last 12 months – down 63% since 2019. Those from the Lothians are the most likely to borrow from loved ones, with 15% having done so in the last year, down from 41% in 2019.

Last week, EY ITEM Club predicted bank lending to consumers would fall by 15.9% this year after spending was curbed by lockdown and economic uncertainty.

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Author: metrochartered

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