Halifax stormed ahead in the mortgage war, doubling its market share in
the first half of this year, and now provides a quarter of loans in the UK.
The business results show its net market share rocketed from 12 per cent
to 25 per cent as it won over the borrowers of rival providers Nationwide
and Abbey National.
But although it achieved its best lending figures since the mid-1980s,
profits fell by 5 per cent from £931m to £839m. Halifax
attributes the drop to the £21m costs it has incurred on its
forthcoming merger with Bank of Scotland and tight margins in the mortgage
It has also had to pay extra costs on its internet banking arm Intelligent
Finance after a series of launch delays saw the bill rise by £40m to
But Halifax says it is “very pleased” with the results and believes they
are a vindication of the dual variable-rate policy it adopted earlier in
Chief executive James Crosby says: “This year, we promised outstanding
sales, very tight cost control and exiting progress in our new ventures,
and we have delivered them.
“But we also highlighted the short-term margin pain which would be
necessary if we were to sweep aside back-book pricing policies in the