UK mortgage approvals rose to a five-month high in July, according to industry figures published on Thursday (24 August).

UK Finance, the successor industry lobby group to the British Bankers Association, said 41,587 mortgages for house purchases were approved by banks last month, up from 40,385 in June, and around 9% above July 2016; the month after the country voted to exit the European Union.

The figures provide a precursor to more comprehensive data, including figures from building societies, due to be published by the Bank of England on 30 August.

Eric Leenders, head of personal at UK Finance, noted: "Steady levels of mortgage activity seen through the first half of the year continued into July.

"First time buyer numbers continue to be strong, helped in part by government schemes. But that has been offset by home movers, where a shortage of homes on the market is limiting their activity."

UK Finance also said credit card lending rose by 5.3% percent year-on-year, down from 5.5% in June, and the weakest increase since March.

Away from lending, figures also indicated that growth in personal bank deposits hit their lowest rate since June 2009, up 2.3% in the year to July, down from 2.5% in June.