Credit card borrowing rose at its highest rate for nearly a year during November as repayments slowed in the run up to Christmas.

Although spending on credit cards was three per cent lower than October, a fall in the amount of debt being paid off led to a rise in borrowing, said the British Bankers' Association.

Overall borrowing on plastic rose by £533 million during November, the highest monthly rise since December last year.

Once seasonal factors had been taken into account, the underlying rise was £329 million, the biggest increase since May 2000.

Consumers' overall appetite for debt also showed little sign of slowing during November, with overall consumer credit rising by £1.03 billion, compared to £708 million in October.

The BBA put some of the increase down to Christmas spending, and said once this had been taken into account, consumer credit was slightly down on the previous month's figure.

During November people borrowed £3.72 billion through personal loans, and though this was slightly below October's figure, weaker repayments led to a 22 per cent jump in net lending to £634 million.

Mortgage lending was also strong, with BBA members reporting a two per cent rise in total lending to £10.81 billion.

Once redemptions and repayments had been taken into account, lending was up £4.02 billion, with total outstanding debt reaching £378.59 billion.

During November 185,311 new loans were approved, and though this was one per cent lower than the number approved during October, the total value was four per cent higher.

Just under 80,000 of the loans approved were for house purchase, with the average value of a loan rising to £79,200.