According to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), mortgage lending rose by 1,482 in March to reach 31,660 for the month.

While this is a good sign that banks are lending, this is still down 10% on March 2010 and shows that any recovery could be a slow one.

“Weak trading activity is discouraging businesses from borrowing to expand and most are oriented towards repaying debt and reducing their operating costs,” said the BBA’s statistics director, David Dooks.