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BBA: Gross mortgage lending down 8% in January

Gross mortgage lending dropped 8 per cent in January to £7.7bn, down from £8.4bn in December, according to figures from the British Bankers’ Association.

The BBA says gross mortgage lending came in higher than the six-month average of £7.6bn, but adverse weather conditions impacted lending in January.

The value of overall mortgage approvals fell from £8bn to £7.4bn, while the number of approvals fell 7 per cent from 61,204 to 57,057.

The average house purchase approval dropped from £152,000 in December to £145,300 last month.

Approvals in January for remortgaging fell from 17,293 to 15,188, taking the value of remortgage approvals from £2.4bn to £2.2bn.

BBA statistics director David Dooks says: “January’s severe weather impacted adversely on what was already a subdued picture of borrowing demand from households and businesses. While general economic growth stalls, low consumer and business confidence generates a natural tendency to restrain borrowing appetite, repay borrowing where possible and to build up cash and savings as a buffer.”

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson says: “There was little evidence of the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme driving more bank lending in January. The scheme is seen as a key element of the Government’s economic growth initiative, designed to encourage the banks to increase their lending to both households and businesses.

“However, the data for January showed non-financial sector businesses repaid a net £0.2bn of loans, while net mortgage borrowing by households rose a mere 0.2 per cent compared to a year ago. Mortgage approvals were down some 14 per cent on a year ago. At 57,057, mortgage approvals are still running at almost half the level they were before the financial crisis. In the 14 years leading up to mid-2007, approvals averaged 99,000.”



‘One-off’ L&G glitch hits 12,000 pensioners

Around 12,000 pensioners were left without annuity payments this week due to technical problems at Legal & General, according to The Independent. An L&G spokeswoman told the newspaper it was a “one-off” glitch which would not affect its other 650,000 annuity customers. Some may have to wait until Tuesday for their payment, says the insurer, […]

Investec’s fee cut receives mixed reaction

Investec Asset Management has waived the initial charge across its entire UK Oeic fund range. Last week, the asset manager scrapped the initial charge on its risk-rated Managed Solutions range, which holds Alastair Mundy’s Investec Cautious Managed fund and John Stopford’s recently launched Investec Diversified Income fund, and its specialist range, which includes Bradley George’s […]

RBS reports £5.2bn pre-tax loss

Royal Bank of Scotland made a pre-tax loss of £5.2bn in 2012, compared to a £1.2bn loss in 2011. This is due in part to the significant sums the bank set aside for the misselling of payment protection insurance and interest rate swaps. Last year, RBS made a further £450m provision for PPI misselling, bringing […]

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Fit for Work: guidance for employers published

On Friday, the Department for Work and Pensions published its guidance for employers on using the new Fit for Work (FfW) service to help ill employees return to the workplace. It also includes more details on the tax exemption for medical interventions that commenced on 1 January 2015.


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