Strong growth in building society lending

Building society gross advances amounted to £3,551 million in July, increasing from £2,812 million in June, the Building Societies Association says.

Net advances were £1,224 million in July, up from £1,061 million in June. Approvals (loans agreed, but not yet made) increased to £3,681 million in July, from £3,212 million in June. In the savings market, building societies&#39 had net inflows of £879 million in July, increasing from £865 million in June. Building society receipts into cash ISAs were £424 million for July.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the Building Societies Association, says: “A powerful performance by building societies saw their net lending rise to the highest level for three years. The figure for July was four and a half times greater than the disappointing performance in July 2001. The very high level of approvals outstanding indicates further strong growth in the second half of the year.”

He adds: “Continuing instability in the equity markets has seen yet another month of strong inflows with net receipts, as in the last two months, at around £870 million.”