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Barclays is accused of spin after it claims 13% of mortgage market

Barclays Bank is laying claim to 13% of the gross mortgage market after increasing its gross lending to £16.9bn in 2010.

Last week the bank reported pre-tax profits of £6.07bn for 2010, up 32% on last year’s £4.6bn.

Barclays increased its gross mortgage lending to £16.9bn in 2010, up from £14.3bn in 2009 when it had a 10% market share.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders there was £136.3bn of gross mortgage lending in 2010, which would make Barclay’s share of the market 12.4%.

Barclays says it has added housing association figures into its calculations, which it says takes its share to 12.5%, rounded up to 13%.

But Ray Boulger, senior technical director at John Charcol, has hit out at the lender for not being clear about this in its figures.

He says: “It is hardly clear, fair and not misleading. Spin is to be expected in press releases, espec-ially at the moment from banks, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of accuracy.”

Earlier in the month, Santander UK revealed that it retained an 18% share of the mortgage market, com-pleting £24.2bn of gross mortgage lending in 2010.

Barclay’s new net mortgage lend-ing was also up to £5.9bn in 2010, compared to £5.7bn in 2009.

The average LTV on a current valuation basis stayed unchanged at 43%, while the average LTV for new mortgage lending was 52%, up slightly on last year’s 48%.

Impairment charges stand at £29m, up from £26m in 2009, as a percentage of the portfolio, and three month arrears rates for UK loans improved to 2.6%, down from 3.8% in 2009.

Bob Diamond, chief executive of Barclays, says: “In the UK there remains significant political and media attention on the banks’ lending delivery. In 2010 we provided £36bn of gross new lending to UK households and businesses. We are open for business.”

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