The lender says it has no plans to move away from the UK mortgage market and thinks 2009 is the perfect opportunity to increase its stake in the market – current it has around 4 per cent of the gross lending market.
It says it will increase its gross lending by £2.2bn next year, to £15bn. This is a 20 per cent rise on 2008 figures, and almost double 2007’s lending.
A spokesman says: “Nobody knows what 2009 is going to look like and we have not got any official lending goals, but we could get as much as 15 per cent of the gross mortgage market. This will be a big push into the sector, although we will remain a conservative lender, only lending to those who can afford it.
“It’s an obvious time to increase our presence in the UK mortgage market as concern from homeowners grows.”
HSBC denied this push would include entering into the intermediary lending sector: “Our current model is working well for us,” says the spokesman.
HSBC managing director Paul Thurston says: “By some estimates, net mortgage lending in the UK will fall next year, but HSBC has no intention of closing its doors to customers.”
Treasury Select Committee chairman John McFall says: “All the other banks need to follow this example. I’m extremely pleased to see HSBC’s initiatives.”