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Abbey’s share of net lending soars to 26%

Abbey’s share of net lending in the first half of the year has soared to 25.6 per cent, taking its total to £8.3bn, more than double the same period last year.

In its first half results, the lender also revealed that it has an estimated gross mortgage lending market share of 12.9 per cent, taking its half year figure to £19.5bn, 16 per cent higher than the same time last year.

This could see lending giant HBOS overtaken in terms of net lending this year.

Abbey admits this share performance was in part impacted by the withdrawal of other providers from the market and that it does expect a lower share in the remaining part of the year.

It says the growth in net mortgage lending can be attributed to a strong performance in both retention activity and gross lending volumes.

Abbey says in the first half of 2008 it took the opportunity to write lower loan to value new business whilst achieving new business margins that were considerably higher that those in the same period in 2007.

The stock of properties in possession increased slightly to 589 compared to 516 in the same time last year. Mortgages in arrears three months and more has increased to 8,316 compared to 7,053 in the same period last year.

Abbey chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio says: “Since September 2006, we have been managing the profitability of our mortgage business, carefully maintaining a balance between the margin of new business, prudent lending criteria and our market share aspirations.

“We held back our market share during the first-half of last year when the market was writing low margin and higher-risk business. Since then the market has reduced and we have taken the opportunity to take higher margin, low-risk business, and at the same time improving our customer retention.

He adds:”We have a high quality risk profile as Abbey’s mortgage book is made up of prime-residential lending. The quality of our lending will continue to be based on affordability and robust risk management. In the first-half we have focused on lower loan-to-value business, which was tightened further in Q2 with only 1 per cent of our new mortgage lending written above 90 per cent LTV.”

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