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Business-to-business news in brief

  • HSBC launched a two-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.99% as it revealed that its mortgage application requests doubled in February compared with January 2009. The bank is also offering two new longer term fixed mortgages – a five-year deal at 3.99% and a 10-year loan at 4.98%. Martijn van der Heijden, head of mortgages at HSBC, said: “The feedback we have received from our customers is that the majority want to lock into today’s historically low interest rates.”
  • Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Timothy Ryan and Anthony Watson to its board as independent non-executive directors. Ryan will join the company on March 1, with Watson joining on April 2. Watson is also a director at European real estate company Hammerson as well as being on the boards of Witan Investment Trust and Vodafone. Ryan is a former director of South Korea’s Koram Bank.

  • A property recovery specialist has warned that the Council of Mortgage Lenders has underestimated the level of repossessions the market faces in the coming year. Nick Hopkinson, director at Property Portfolio Rescue, argues that repossessions could more than double from last year’s figure of 40,000 to reach 82,000 by the end of 2009.
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