Consumer credit rose by £400m in January, said the Bank of England (Reuters)

Lending to individuals in the UK economy grew at a slower pace in January than the recent monthly average, according to the Bank of England.

Total lending to individuals, excluding student loans, rose by £600m in January, compared to the previous six-month average increase of £800m, said the Bank.

Mortgage approvals also slowed to 54,719, down from December's 55,632, though this was still considerably above the six-month average of 51,344.

Despite the slowdown in the headline lending growth figures, consumer credit rose by £400m in January, £100m above the monthly average.

The Treasury and Bank of England launched the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) in June 2012 to help stimulate the flow of credit into the real economy of consumers and smaller firms.

FLS, which offers banks cheap loans to a value tied to their stock lending to the real economy, appears to have made ripples in the residential mortgage market.

House prices are rising because of growing demand, as interest rates and deposit requirements on mortgages are brought down by FLS, allowing first time buyers onto the property ladder.