Credit card ownership falls to pre-boom level

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The Independent Online
SHOPPERS are turning their backs on the 'buy now, pay later' mentality of the 1980s, a survey published today shows.

The proportion of adults holding credit cards in Britain in 1993 dropped to 31 per cent from a peak of 34 per cent in 1989, according to a study by the Financial Research Survey and NOP. The proportion is lower than in 1986 when 32 per cent held cards.

While those people with cards are using them more, most prefer to pay back the full amount borrowed each month rather than pay by instalments.

The survey showed that 20 per cent of cardholders spread repayments last year while 61 per cent paid back in full each month, compared with 24 per cent and 53 per cent respectively in 1989. Only 13 per cent of 18- to 24-year- olds had a credit card, compared to 22 per cent in 1989.