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Societies see increase in savings, but lending still down

Net receipts into societies were £1,595m in February 2009, the highest February net receipt on record and an increase of 18% over February 2008, but gross mortgage lending was down to £1,214m, compared to £3,861m in February 2008.

Brian Morris, head of savings policy at the Building Societies Association, says:”The record February net receipt of £1.6bn shows that building societies’ attractive savings products are helping them to compete for deposits. Despite the Bank Rate being so low people are still keen to save, probably in response to the uncertain economic outlook and reduced job security.”

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at the BSA says: “The low levels of lending by building societies come as no surprise in view of the depressed levels of activity in the housing market.

“With the BSA’s Property Tracker survey showing that potential buyers remain concerned over their job prospects and perceived problems securing a mortgage, it is hard to see confidence returning to the property market for some time to come.”

Societies had a net receipt of £1,595m in February 2009 compared to £1,353m in February 2008.

Societies had a net withdrawal of £108m from cash ISAs in February 2009, compared to a net receipt of £130m in February 2008.

Society gross lending amounted to £1,214m in February 2009 compared to £3,861m in February 2008.

Net lending by building societies in February 2009 was -£976m compared to £978m in February 2008

Approvals in February 2009 were £724m compared to £3,411m in February 2008

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