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Loan share doubles for Halifax

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

market.

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

£140m.

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

the year.

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

mortgage business.”

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