Lloyds TSB profits up

Lloyds TSB has announced record half-year results for gross new mortgage lending of £8bn, up one-third on the same period last year.

The group&#39s market share of gross new lending declined 1.6% to 5.9%. But there is a record mortgage pipeline moving through subsidiary C& G. And the group&#39s interim result statement adds: “We have chosen not to chase market-share growth at the expense of price and quality.”

Peter Mounty, head of communications at C&G, confirms new lending opportunities are under exploration and says: “We regularly look at opportunities in niche areas. We keep our finger on the market pulse and if there is opportunity or demand we would evaluate this.”

Overall, Lloyds TSB pre-tax profits stalled between the first halves of 2001 and 2002 at £1.6bn. Bad debt provisions were up 48% to £479m. Meanwhile, Barclays also blamed the fragile global economy for weak six-month results out last week. Pre-tax profits were down 6% on 2001 at £1,749m.

The group is celebrating mortgage success thanks to Openplan. The offset scheme helped Barclays increase its new lending market share to 11.4% – up from 7.4% in the first half of 2001 and Barclays is on course to meet its take-up target of 1.5 million customers by the end of 2002.

However, Matthew Barrett, chief executive of Barclays, refused to comment on the bank&#39s rumoured takeover of Bradford & Bingley.

Barclays share price closed at 425p on Friday and Lloyds TSB 590.5p.