View more on these topics

Banks increase lending by 12%


Banks increased their lending by 12 per cent year-on-year in April, according to new figures.

The UK’s major banking group lent £12bn to borrowers in April, says the British Bankers’ Association.

This was significantly down the £17bn lent in March, but experts expected a dip after the rush to beat the stamp duty deadline.

Banks approved a total of 73,999 loans in April, which is some 3,500 lower than the average over the previous six months.

BBA chief economic adviser Dr Rebecca Harding says: “As expected, growth in mortgage lending has fallen back sharply on last month proving that March’s results were just a stamp duty spike. Net mortgage borrowing is nevertheless 3 per cent higher than a year ago.”

Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, says: “The lending figures for April are not surprising but a little more encouraging than we thought because we expected them to be lower year on year. What the three per cent increase suggests is that investors are not the principal reason behind it. The underlying strength of the market is there.

“Of course the withdrawal of buy-to-let investors from the market in the second quarter will pull down transaction numbers going forward but the positive sign for the market is that first-time buyers – and other movers – are alive and kicking, and taking advantage of continued competitive mortgage rates. With the gap in rates on high loan-to-value mortgages compared with lower LTVs also narrowing, there is plenty to encourage first-time buyers into the market in coming months.”



SFO pressed to cut ‘blockbuster funding’ to tackle staffing issues

The Serious Fraud Office would be better value for money if its dependence on “blockbuster funding” was reduced, according to a government report that found the SFO’s current funding model is leading to staffing gaps. HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate has published a report into the SFO’s governance arrangements that detailed nine recommendations for improvement. […]

Bob Young Fleet 2014

Fleet tweaks Ltd Co criteria before tax relief cut

Fleet Mortgages will now consider applications where individuals want to transfer their properties into a special purpose vehicle limited company. It will treat the limited company as if it is purchasing the property and will be considered as long as it: Falls within standard criteria The existing owners of the property are directors and shareholders […]


Carney denies BoE is ‘politically involved’ in Brexit debate

Bank of England governor Mark Carney says the central bank has remained independent in the Brexit debate, despite its recent warnings on economic uncertainties around the referendum. Speaking to the Treasury committee, Carney says there is “no possibility” of the central bank having been influenced by the Government on taking a firm position on the […]

Bridging is no longer a dirty word

It’s not that long ago that short-term finance, or, perhaps more specifically, bridging finance were viewed as dirty words by mortgage brokers. The rates on offer were punishing, meaning there were only a handful of situations where it would be appropriate to arrange one. Some lenders didn’t exactly uphold great reputations for service standards either; […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up