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Lending falls by 40% but profits up for Nationwide

Nationwide non-retail executive director Matthew Wyles has admitted that the lender is underweight in the buy to let market.

He says the building society is at half its natural market share in BTL and it would like to get it on par with its residential lending.

But Wyles says it is not in a position in the present difficult market conditions to achieve this yet.

Nationwide revealed a fall of 40 per cent in net residential lending to £6.7bn, down from £11.2bn in 2007.

Of the total, £4.9bn is prime mortgages and £1.8bn is specialist lending, excluding commercial mortgages. Nationwide estimates it now has a market share of 7.1 per cent.

Profits leapt by 17 per cent to £781.1m from £668.8m in 2007, largely a result of strong performance in the retail savings market.

Nationwide took in £9.1bn of net retail deposits, which gives it an estimated market share of 19 per cent.

Wyles says the society is still on course to introduce point of sale offers on its Nationwide brand, with the early part of 2009 earmarked.

However, he believes point of sale offers are now not as important to the intermediary market.

He says: “I think in some ways the reason that point of sale offers were so important was that lenders were struggling to differentiate themselves.

“Now intermediaries want good service and consistently priced products. To some degree, the point of sale offers have slipped down the intermediaries’ agenda.”

The proportion of mortgage accounts three months or more in arrears was 0.36 per cent, significantly less than the industry average of 1.21 per cent.

Wyles says the society is an extremely strong position. Its total capacity has increased by 19 per cent to £9.5bn. It has a Basel II solvency ratio of 12.4 per cent, with tier 1 of 9.7 per cent and core tier of 8.1 per cent.

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