People living in the postcode areas of Southampton, Peterborough and Newcastle upon Tyne have the highest levels of personal loan debt per person in Britain, according to new figures from lenders.
Data which covers just under two-thirds of the country's personal loan market and around three-quarters of mortgage lending hasa been released by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
The figures, which cover around 9,000 postcode sectors, show that the total outstanding mortgage debt in South West London alone is at similar levels to that for the whole of Wales.
At the end of 2013, people living in the Southampton postcode area of SO32 3, which covers places such as Bishop's Waltham, Corhampton, Droxford, Durley, Wickham and Eastleigh, have £1,880 worth of personal loan debt per head, which is the highest level in Britain according to the data.
The Peterborough postcode of PE7 0, which covers the areas of Coates, Hampton, Folksworth, Yaxley and Whittlesey has the second highest level of debt per person, at £1,869.
In third place is the postcode of NE13 9 in Newcastle, which includes Wideopen and Dinnington, where the personal debt level stands at £1,550 per head of the population there.
The report cautioned that the borrowing levels shown are not an indication of the "financial health" of borrowers. For example, areas of Britain which are mainly industrial are unlikely to see high levels of personal loans. Nor do the figures indicate current demand for loans as they are made up of borrowing agreements which have been made in the past as well as debt which has been taken out
The figures also show that of Britain's £902 billion-worth of outstanding mortgage debt that was held at the end of last year, almost £232 billion of it was held in London.
When put together, the outstanding mortgage debt for London and the South East, which have been driving the housing market recovery, is around £395 billion, an amount which is getting on for almost half of Britain's total mortgage debt.
In Wales, the total amount of mortgage debt was £28.6 billion - which comes to just under the combined value of outstanding mortgages in postcode areas of South West London - at £29.7 billion.
In Scotland, the total outstanding mortgage debt was £64.3 billion.
The mortgage and personal loan data has been provided by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, Santander, RBS, and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.
The report also cover three-fifths of bank lending to small and medium-sized businesses. The business lending data has been provided by Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, RBS, Santander and Clydesdale and
The BBA combined the business lending figures with data provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It said this shows that regions outside London and the South East receive a higher proportion of SME lending than their share of SME turnover.
For example, London's share of Britain's SME lending was 21% in December 2013 but its estimated share of turnover was 29%. Scotland's share of SME lending was 8% but its turnover was around 6%, and Wales's lending share was 5% but its turnover was around 3%.
BBA chief economist Richard Woolhouse said: "It's vital for economic growth and investment that there is a good balance of lending everywhere. These figures show that this is happening.
"However, these numbers are complex and it remains very difficult to draw firm conclusions."
Here are the postcode sectors with the highest amount of personal loan debt per person:
1. Southampton, SO32 3, £1,880
2. Peterborough, PE7 0, £1,869
3. Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 9, £1,550
4. East Central London, EC1V 2, £1,440
5. Preston, PR7 7, £1,386
6. Leeds, LS17 0, £1,375
7. Milton Keynes, MK42 6, £1,331
8. Galashiels, TD12 4, £1,296
9. Western Central London, WC1X 8, £1,291
10. Manchester, M3 3, £1,259
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