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Buoyant year for societies

Gross mortgage advances by building societies totalled £35bn last year, up from £30bn in 2001, according the Building Societies&#39 Association.

The BSA says its members had a bumper year, with net advances increasing to £10.8bn from £6.6bn in 2001.

Approvals reached £39bn in 2002 compared with £29bn in 2001. Gross advances in December were £3.4bn, up from £2.1bn in December 2001 and up from £3bn in November.

In the savings market, societies had net inflows of £8.7bn in 2002, down from £9bn in 2001.

In December, society net receipts into cash Isas were £132m, down from £172m for December 2001.

However, the BSA says the sector maintained high levels of net inflows last year due to the clear benefits of mutuality to savers in terms of rates and products.

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