HSBC’s pledge to lend at least £15bn in mortgages in 2012 has been welcomed as a sign that the market will be more buoyant this year than last.
The bank says that this would give it its highest ever market share of 11.3% based on the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ gross mortgage lending forecast of £133bn for 2012.
While it is unable to give a comparable figure for the whole of 2011 before its annual results are published in March, HSBC says it lent £6.7bn in the first half of last year, suggesting that £15bn of lending for 2012 would mark a significant year-on-year increase.
Martijn van der Heijden, head of lending at HSBC, says: “In 2011 we offered some of the most competitive rates around and we plan to continue this in 2012.
“While some estimates suggest mortgage lending will fall this year, HSBC has no intention of closing its doors to customers.”
Mike Fitzgerald, sales and marketing director at Emba Group, says that although HSBC does not lend via brokers, it is likely to create a knock-on effect on the rest of the market by sending out such a positive message.
He says: “If HSBC thinks the market is good for lending, that will spur other lenders to be more competitive. It’s comments also send out the right signals to the public and it is then down to professional brokers to make sure the public comes to them.”