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Mutuals’ gross mortgage lending up 32%

Building societies and other mutual lenders increased their gross mortgage lending by 32 per cent and mortgage approvals by 54 per cent in January 2012, compared to the same month in 2011.

BSA members carried out £1.9bn of gross mortgage lending in January 2012, up from £1.4bn in January 2011, while £1.7bn of mortgages were approved in January, up 54 per cent on January 2011- £1.1bn.

Savings balances however fell by £1.1bn in January 2012, compared to a decrease of £0.4bn in January 2011.

Excluding interest credited to accounts, mutual deposit takers had a net withdrawal of £1.3bn in January 2012, compared to a net withdrawal of £0.7bn in January 2011.

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “New lending and approvals for house purchase picked up across the market in January, perhaps in part due to first-time buyers taking advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday before it ends in March.

“Lending activity by mutuals was up significantly in January compared to the same month last year, continuing the trend of increased lending by the mutual sector seen throughout 2011.”

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