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Mutuals’ gross lending up 24% year-on-year in November

Gross mortgage lending by mutuals totalled £2.5bn in November, up 24% compared to November 2010, reveals data from the Building Societies Association.

It puts mutuals’ gross lending for the first 11 months of 2011 at £21.5bn, 16% higher than the £18.6bn lent during the same period in 2010.

Furthermore, there were £2.1bn of mortgages approved by mutuals in November, up 13% on the £1.9bn approved in November 2010.  

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, says: “Mutuals have shown their resilience in the face of tough market conditions over the past year and have continued to see their new mortgage lending increase.”

He adds: “The new year has seen some excellent mortgage products go on sale from mutuals with a return to some offering higher loan to value mortgages. These are encouraging trends against rather discouraging developments in the wider economy.”

The BSA data also shows that mutuals’ savings balances increased by £0.5bn in November, compared to an increase of £0.6bn in November 2010.

Excluding interest credited to accounts, mutual deposit takers had net receipts of £0.3bn in November, compared to a net receipt of £0.4bn in November 2010.

In the first 11 months of 2011, savings balances held with mutuals increased by £3.7 bn, compared to a decrease of £1.3bn for the same period in 2010.

Coles says: “2011 has been a difficult year for savers who have faced a substantial squeeze on their incomes from rising living costs, relatively low wage growth and very low interest rates.

“Yet in recent months mutuals have seen a net inflow into savings accounts as savers look for the security and certainty which equity markets lack. Households may also be delaying big ticket purchases to put money aside for a rainy day.”

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