Debt-heavy villages in north Northumberland

People living in an area of north Northumberland have some of the highest levels of personal loan debt in the country, according to recent figures.

Earlier this month, major lenders published details of borrowing to individuals and businesses classified by more than 9,000 postcode sectors. The industry-wide data was compiled jointly by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the Council for Mortgage Lenders.

The postcode sectors with the largest population will usually have the highest levels of personal loans. However, using official records from the 2011 Census, it is possible to show the postcode sectors with the highest level of personal loans on a per capita basis.

And third in the nationwide top 10 was NE66 4, within the Alnwick (NE66) area and which includes Alnham, Bewick, Branton, Callaly, Glanton, Ilderton, Ingram, Lilburn, Powburn, Roddam, Thrunton, Whittingham and Wooperton.

The outstanding personal-loan debt for this area totalled £3,068,159, a per capita figure of £2,065.

BBA chief economist Richard Woolhouse said: “We’ve been working hard to make this data as accurate and comprehensive as possible and it now covers 96 per cent of lending to smaller businesses and 99 per cent of personal loans by postcode sector. But this data is complex and it remains very difficult to draw firm conclusions about lending at a local level. However, this work underlines how banks are in the business of lending to companies and people wherever they are based in Great Britain.”

Participating lenders in the personal loan datasets are Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, RBS Group, Santander UK, Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks and Nationwide Building Society.