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Banks take a grip on mortgage market share

Big banks claim to be dominating net new lending in the mortgage market.

Half-year results show Barclays claiming the lead on market share with 26 per cent of net new lending, just ahead of Abbey which claims to have a market share of 25.6 per cent.

These figures for market share are all based on the companies’ own estimates and the combined share claims of the six banks which have released their half-year results total 106 per cent.

John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger believes the banks’ estimates have around a 5 per cent margin for error higher or lower.

Bank of England figures show net lending has more than halved in the last few months from £6.3bn in March to £3.1bn in June.

Boulger says: “I am not surprised at these figures as there are bound to be lenders, especially societies, posting negative net lending numbers.

“The real speculation is in the size of the market. Council of Mortgage Lenders’ figures are a year behind.”

Pali International banking analyst Bruce Packard says: “Net lending has almost halved in the first half of this year, which changes the overall meaning of the figures as they look bigger.”

Council of Mortgage Lenders director general Michael Coogan predicted in July that net lending would be muted and would continue to be so into 2009.

The Building Societies’ Association reported £526m of net new lending outflows for its members in June.

The only big lender yet to report its half-yearly figures is Nationwide, which posts its results in November.

Boulger says: “It will be interesting to see Nationwide’s next net lending figures as it has been more aggressive of late.”

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