EY ITEM Club predicted lending to consumers will fall by 15.9% this year after spending was curbed during lockdown and households tighten their belts in anticipation of widespread job losses.

It forecast mortgage lending would grow 2.6% in 2020, the slowest rise since 2015.

Dan Cooper, UK head of banking at EY, said: “Even assuming the economy bounces back in the short term, we’re likely to see very weak growth in loans to home buyers and consumers for some time to come.”