Santander has clung onto its place in the biggest five mortgage lenders after seeing its market share slip from 16.8 per cent in 2011 to 10.2 per cent in 2012.
Figures published last week by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show Santander slipped from second biggest lender in 2011 to fifth at the end of 2012, as gross lending fell from £23.7bn to £14.6bn.
Lloyds Banking Group retained its top spot in 2012, although its market share dipped slightly from 19.8 per cent to 18.3 per cent. Gross lending also fell from £28bn in 2011 to £26.2bn in 2012.
Nationwide surged from fourth place to second, with gross lending going from £17.2bn to £21.2bn and its market share rising from 12.1 per cent to 14.8 per cent.
Barclays held onto third place despite a fall in gross lending from £20.1bn to £18.2bn while its market share dropped from 14.2 per cent to 12.7 per cent.
HSBC entered the top five with an increase in gross lending from £13.2bn to £16.4bn and in its market share from 9.3 per cent to 11.5 per cent.
A Santander spokeswoman says the lender is deleveraging its mortgage book to focus on business lending. She says: “Mortgage lending is expected to stabilise at a slightly lower level by the end of 2013.”
Perception Finance managing director David Sheppard says: “In 2011 Santander’s rates were very competitive for almost the whole year. But for a lot of 2012 it was sitting just below the top of the best buy tables allowing the likes of Nationwide to move up the rankings.”