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HBOS to home in on FTBs as market share sags

HBOS has admitted that it has neglected first-time buyers sector as it focused on remortgaging.

But HBOS intermediary distribution and specialist banking managing director Philip Grant says the company is now working on strengthening in the first-time buyer and homemover areas.

Grant adds that the group is also looking closely at equity release, which is an area that the lender has claimed to be watching for a while.

He says: “We have focused a lot on remortgaging over the past year and this has probably seen us let our first-time buyer focus slip. It is not as polished as it could be. Our Mortgage Plus product is strong but we have an ambition to strengthen our FTB focus even more.”

HBOS’s interim results show that its gross mortgage lending for the first six months of this year dropped to £33.6bn from £35.2bn at the same time last year.

The lender’s net market share for the half-year fell dramatically to 8 per cent from 21 per cent in the first six months of 2006.

But Grant says the firm is on track to return to its 15-20 per cent market share after taking corrective action on its pricing strategy earlier this year.

“We have improved in two areas. We are now more competitive in our remortgage range and we have also sharpened BM Solutions, particularly with buy to let.”

Mortgage analysis, p26

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