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Loan business still strong for societies and banks

Lending by building societies rose in August compared with the same month last year but showed a fall from July this year.

Building Societies Association&#39s seasonally adjusted figures show society gross advances totalled £3.6bn in August, a rise from £3.2bn in August 2002, but down on this July&#39s total of £3.8bn. Net advances were £1.4bn, up from £1.1bn last year.

Approvals for loans increased to £4.3bn from £3.2bn last year.

In the savings market, net inflows fell to £288m from £832m last year.

Figures from the British Bankers&#39 Association echo this trend and show a rise in mortgage lending of £5.3bn, which was slightly weaker than the July figure but above the recent monthly average of £5bn.

BBA director of statistics David Dooks says: “Although the major banks&#39 mortgage lending was slightly weaker in August, the trend remains strong and robust. Other lending to individuals, through personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards rose by a similar amount to July, as customer demand appears to be fairly steady in that area.”

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “Building societies continue to power ahead in the very competitive mortgage market. Consumers clearly know a good deal and are turning to building societies in increasing numbers. Overall confidence remains high in the market.”

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