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Lending up but profits down at B&B

Bradford & Bingley has seen a huge jump in gross lending in 2006, more than twice the market average.

However, the group also saw statutory pre-tax profits fall from £263.5m in 2005 to £246.7m last year, largely due to the £89.4m set aside for misselling complaints. Its underlying profit was up 8 per cent to £336.1m.

Its total mortgage lending last year was £10.3bn, up 43 per cent from the £7.2bn lent in 2005, largely due to growth in specialist markets. The market average increase was 20 per cent.

Some £7.7bn was loaned via intermediaries, up from £5.8bn in 2005.

The group also saw sales of investment products in-house via Legal & General advisers fall from £32m to £31.5m, though there was an £800,000 increase in general insurance income.

Chief executive Steven Crawshaw says: “Bradford & Bingley has had a very good year, with best-ever lending volumes, stable credit quality, strong savings performance, and good profit growth. We had a record year-end pipeline and, based on trading so far, expect to continue our strong performance in 2007.”

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