View more on these topics

Month-on-month bank lending weaker in March, says BBA

Mortgage lending by banks this March was marginally weaker than in February, according to the British Bankers Association.

The number of mortgages approved fell to 26,097 in March from 28,024 in February, and were 25.3% lower than in the same month last year.

The BBA says all measures of mortgage lending were slightly weaker in March than in February, with the £8.9bn of gross mortgage lending representing this measure’s lowest level since April 2001.

Meanwhile, the value of house purchase loans approved fell from £3.5bn to £3.3bn and the total value of mortgages approved fell from £7.7bn from £7.3bn.

David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, says it is unrealistic to expect the mortgage market to recover in a consistent way in the present economic environment.

He said: “Lending to households continues to grow as banks make funds available for individuals who meet their lending criteria but consumer confidence remains fragile.

“Meanwhile, business demand for increased bank finance is subdued as corporates seek alternative funding sources and small businesses operate off cash flow .”

Nicholas Leeming, director of, says confidence in the housing market is improving but that continuing restrictions on the supply of mortgages are making life difficult for first-time buyers.

He said: “This stymies the whole market, making housing chains much more difficult to complete. Transaction numbers cannot recover until those entering the market for the first time can access the finance necessary to do so.

“The government’s recent extension of the Stamp Duty holiday will benefit nobody if lenders are not providing mortgages.”

The figures from the BBA contrast sharply with research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders which shows gross mortgage lending climbing 16% from £9.9bn in February to an estimated £11.5bn in March.


Tenet launches apprenticeship scheme

Leeds based adviser support group, Tenet, is working with the Financial Services Skills Council to help bring new blood into the industry via two apprenticeship programmes for both professional mortgage and investment advisers.

Act today so you can benefit tomorrow

While the headlines continue to report tumbling profits and downward sales trends in many industry sectors, is there a glimmer of hope for the property market?

Halifax to pay FTB Stamp Duty costs

Halifax is launching a first-time buyer product which is designed to cover the buyer’s Stamp Duty costs for properties valued between £175,000 and £250,000.

InFocus - thumbnail

In Focus — February 2015

Jelf Employee Benefits looks at the issue of paying anaesthetist fees when the patient had no chance to discuss or agree to them prior to care; and provides recommendations for avoiding this scenario.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up