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Brokers say Santander ready to break back into top three lenders

Santander 480

Brokers are predicting that Santander will break back into the top three biggest lenders by volume after a number of criteria changes and dramatic rate cuts.

Over the past year the lender has severely tightened its criteria, resulting in its market share plummeting from 16.3 per cent at 30 September 2011 to 10.8 per a year later, with gross lending falling fro £16.8bn in the first nine months of 2011 to £11.5bn in the first nine months of 2012.

This fall has seen Santander slip at least two places in the gross lending table, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders at the end of 2011 – and possibly even out of the top five.

But in the past two weeks Santander has loosened its interest-only criteria and relaxed its scorecard for borrowers with minor adverse credit history.

Last month, Money Marketing reported that Abbey for Intermediaries’ business development managers had been contacting brokers claiming the lender wants to double its lending in 2013.

Chadney Bulgin mortgages partner Jonathan Clark says: “In terms of market position it had slipped but I think over the coming year Abbey will push back into the top two or three lenders in the market.”

All Types of Mortgages managing director Dale Jannels says: “Abbey has had its dip and it looks like it is coming out of it with an appetite to lend again.”

Countrywide financial services director Nigel Stockton believes Lloyds Banking Group and Santander’s reduction in lending will see this year’s gross lending figure fall short of 2011’s level.

He says: “I do not see how with Santander and Lloyds both down we can even get back to 2011 levels of £139bn. My estimate for 2012 would be between £135bn and £138bn.”

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