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Lending slowly rising, says BofE

The Bank of England has revealed that lending in the UK rose slightly over April.

It calculated that the increase in total net lending to individuals in April of £1.3bn was higher than the March increase of £0.7bn.

Within the total, the increase in net secured lending of £1bn was higher than the March increase of £0.6bn, but this was still below the previous six-month averages. Credit card lending also increased, by a net £0.30bn.

Also, the Building Societies Association has revealed that gross mortgage lending by building societies was £1.55bn in April 2009, down fro £3.921bn in April 2008.

BSA head of mortgage Policy Paul Broadhead says: “Although at low levels, building society mortgage approvals, which give some indication of future lending activity, were 14 per cent higher in April than in March. Therefore, the rate of decline in activity in the housing market may have started to slow, but overall the lending environment remains very challenging.”

In the savings market, savings balances held by building societies grew by £80m in April 2009, compared to £2.91bn in April last year. The BSA says this can largely be explained by societies experiencing a net withdrawal of £811m in April this year, compared to a net inflow of £1.83bn in April last year.


World is finding a new balance

Since our last contribution to this column at the beginning of March titled, Markets can go up as well as down, risk assets around the globe have soared. At the time, we commented that if reflationary policies undertaken by government authorities are seen as taking hold, equity markets and other risky assets would likely enjoy an explosive rally. The flip-side, of course, was that safe-haven assets like government bonds would get crushed.


FSA staff paid £20m in bonuses

The FSA paid its staff £19.7m in bonuses last month, a 40 per cent increase on last year’s payouts, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

McNulty goes after Legg Mason revamp

Legg Mason head of retail sales Andy McNulty has been made redundant following a restructure. His duties are to be taken on by head of European sales and client services Justin Eede.


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