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Rock rolls in as UK’s second biggest lender

Northern Rock has leapfrogged Abbey and Lloyds TSB to become the second-biggest lender in terms of gross mortgage lending, Money Marketing can reveal.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ preliminary results for the top 30 biggest lenders in 2006 show Northern Rock has gone from fourth position to second. The lender’s market share has grown from 8 per cent to 9.6 per cent.

Abbey is now in third place with a fall in market share from 10 per cent to 9.4 per cent. Lloyds TSB has seen a dip from 9 per cent to 8 per cent.

The CML’s results also reveal that the merger of Nationwide and Portman building societies is unlikely to see the merged business become the second-biggest mortgage lender, as has been widely claimed.

Nationwide saw its share drop from 8 per cent to 6.5 per cent while Portman’ share was up from 0.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

Halifax Bank of Scotland retains top spot with 21.3 per cent of the marketmore than double that of Northern Rock – but only showing a slight rise from 21 per cent.

The table has yet to be finalised but the preliminary results clearly show a shake-up in the top five lenders.

Hamptons technical director Jonathan Cornell says Northern Rock has been the most aggressive lender in terms of growth.

He says: “This is great news for Northern Rock. It is a big increase of 1.6 per cent so it has been incredibly successful. Nationwide has seen a fairly big drop so, with its planned merger with Portman, it will not be number two in the market.”

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