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Lending and market share fall but Abbey back in profit

Abbey is back in profit, turning round a 686m loss in 2003 into a 273m profit last year.

Gross mortgage lending was down by 8.6 per cent to 25bn from 29.1bn. and the firm’s market share of gross lending was down from 10.7 per cent to 8.6 per cent.

Protection sales fell by 22 per cent to 97m from 125m. General insurance sales also fell, in part reflecting lower mortgage volumes as well as Abbey’s exit from travel and motor insurance.

Abbey says its aim for this year is to improve sales productivity while reducing costs.

The company’s focus will be on retail banking and to improve sales and revenue performance across all the sales channels.

Chief executive Francisco Gomez-Roldan says: “This business has huge potential. We can now realise this using Santander’s strength and placing a strong emphasis on execution.”

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