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The UK is a nation of shoppers unfazed by the EU referendum result when spending on plastic, says a trade body representing the major banks.

Credit card use for purchases in shops has been highlighted by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) as the key to rising borrowing on cards.

There were 168 million purchases on credit cards in July – the first full month since the Brexit vote.

This was higher than in June and the average of the previous six months.

However, there was a drop in the number of mortgages approved for house purchases.

“This month’s statistics are the first set of borrowing figures gathered since the EU referendum. The data does not currently suggest borrowing patterns have been significantly affected by the Brexit vote, but it is still early days. Many borrowing decisions will also have been taken before the referendum,” said Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA.

“We are also clearly still a nation of shoppers and the Brexit vote has done nothing to change the fact that we use credit cards for short-term purchases. Strong retail sales figures appear closely associated with strong consumer credit growth.”

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