The rate at which people are taking on debt is stabilising but levels remain well down on 2004, new figures show.
High street bank HSBC said it had seen a slight pick-up in people inquiring about mortgages, loans and equity release products in the three months to the end of May.
During the period it said overall inquiries were around 2.2 per cent higher than they had been during the previous quarter.
But despite the rise, it said activity was still four per cent below the level reported during the same three months of 2004, as higher interest rates continued to take their toll on consumers' appetite for debt.
John Butler, UK economist with HSBC's economics and investment team, said: "While the rate of take-up of debt is easing, it remains robust.
"An imminent interest rate cut, as some predict, would run the risk of encouraging households into even greater debt."
Overall, HSBC said inquiries from people wanting to take out new mortgages were holding up well, but the number of people interested in withdrawing equity from their property had weakened at around a fifth lower than they were in 2004.
The number of people thinking of taking out a loan appears to have stabilised, with levels now only slightly lower than they were the previous year.
The group said there appeared to be a shift away from equity release to personal loans.