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Nationwide sees drop in net lending to £3.3bn

Nationwide’s results today show that it has seen a drop in net lending from £5.6bn last year to £3.3bn as a result of its cautious approach in 2007.

It has also seen a decline in prime mortgage gross lending compared to last year, down from £13.5bn to £11.9bn.

But it says that its proportion of prime mortgage accounts in three months or more arrears is only at 0.31 per cent, significantly below the industry average of 1.06 per cent.

Its gross unsecured lending has been reduced to £0.3bn compared to £0.6bn last year. Asset quality remains strong with the proportion of personal loan balances 30+days in arrears reducing to 5.92 per cent, compared to the industry average of 10.00 per cent.

Nationwide’s specialist lending division – comprising of UCB Homeloans and The Mortgage Works – recorded gross lending of £1.2bn compared to £1bn in 2006. The division achieved net lending of £0.3bn, the same as the previous year.

Chief executive Graham Beale says: “Our long-standing prudent approach to lending means we have a mortgage book of outstanding quality; our arrears remain at very low levels and are less than a third of the industry average.

“We deliberately focus on quality lending rather than pursuing market share and we intend to maintain this prudent approach. The quality of our commercial lending and treasury portfolios is also excellent. We have no direct exposure to US sub prime lending resulting in an overall balance sheet of the highest quality.”

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