There were 61,707 applications approved during the month, a drop of more than 1,000 from April and down from the 75,901 in January, a recent peak.
The total amount of outstanding mortgage debt rose to £1.284 trillion, and the number of approvals for remortgage lending dropped to 29,240, the lowest in 15 months.
Lending growth of £2bn during the month rose in May, up from April's £1.75bn increase and the most rapid acceleration in nearly six years. But the figure is far below previous record levels - mortgage lending accelerated by £10.36bn during
"Expanding by £2bn marks a continued steady increase but is still just a fifth of the rate that prevailed in 2007 pre-crisis. In this context, the financial policy committee's interventions last week look pre-emptive," said
He added: "Arguably, the 6.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter annualised growth rate in consumer credit is deserving of more attention."
There is now £160.6bn outstanding in unsecured consumer credit, up from £156.4bn in the same month last year.
There was an encouraging jump in lending to businesses, which rose by £3.4bn in May, the first rise in more than half a year and the largest in at least three years, dating back to the beginning of the survey in 2011. Over the previous half a year, lending has dropped by an average of £2.1bn every month.
"While a welcome development, It remains to be seen if May's marked increase in lending to businesses is the start of an improving trend. There have been false dawns before," said
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