B&B says it’s had a good start to 2007

Bradford & Bingley has predicted that its net residential lending in the first half of this year will be almost double the level it achieved in the same period in 2006.

In a pre-close trading statement, the lender reported a good performance in the first half of 2007 with new organic lending volumes well ahead of those seen in the second half of last year, particularly in buy-to-let.

But B&B reveals net interest margins have deteriorated, partly because of the cost of two and three-year money. It says it expects this trend to continue. Arrears are slightly up since the year-end due to recent interest rate rises.

The group will submit its waiver application for Basle II at the end of this month.

Steven Crawshaw, group chief executive at B&B, says: “We’ve had an excellent start to 2007. And prospects are good for the second half of the year as demand continues to drive the buy-to-let market.”