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Banks see £4.3bn rise in mortgage lending

The UK’s high street banks enjoyed a £4.3 billion rise in mortgage lending in July 2008.

According to the latest statistics from the British Bankers Association, mortgage lending rose at the same rate as June figures, while gross mortgage lending slipped to £14.6 billion, down a quarter on last year’s numbers.

Growth for net mortgage lending amongst the banks was similar to May and June statistics, keeping an annual growth rate of 12 per cent.

The BBA says the number of house purchase approvals continues to be very low while those for remortgaging have fallen.

Recent statistics have revealed that the largest banks in the UK – HBoS, HSBC, Barclays, Abbey, RBS and Lloyds TSB – controlled more than 100% of the net mortgage market for the first half of 2008.

BBA statistics director David Dooks says: “The monthly numbers of approvals for house purchase, which have fallen by some two-thirds over the last year, levelled off in July. It would, however, be premature to think
that the housing market will now start to recover, because overall approval activity continues to be very low.

Although this might be good news for the big banks, the figures spell more bad news for homeowners.

Dooks adds: “The pressures on household budgets are reflected in the relatively weak rise in individuals’ deposits and, with consumer borrowing growing only slowly it seems that consumers are acting prudently.”

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