Opinion Former Article

BSA: Lending and approvals by mutuals rise year on year in January

Building societies and other mutual lenders continued to increase their lending in January 2012, compared to the same month in 2011. Gross mortgage lending was up 32% and mortgage approvals increased by 54% on January 2011.

32% rise in gross mortgage lending in January, up to £1.9 billion from £1.4 billion in January 2011.
£1.7 billion of mortgages were approved in January, up 54% on January 2011 (£1.1 billion).

Savings balances fell by £1.1 billion in January 2012, compared to a decrease of £0.4 billion in January 2011.
Excluding interest credited to accounts, mutual deposit takers had a net withdrawal of £1.3 billion in January 2012, compared to a net withdrawal of £0.7 billion in January 2011.
Commenting, Adrian Coles, Director-General of the Building Societies Association, said:

"New lending and approvals for house purchase picked up across the market in January, perhaps in part due to first-time buyers taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday before it ends in March. Lending activity by mutuals was up significantly in January compared to the same month last year, continuing the trend of increased lending by the mutual sector seen throughout 2011."

"A fall in savings balances is common in January as households begin to repay the debt accumulated over the Christmas period. Household finances have been particularly stretched over the last year due to prices rising ahead of earnings growth, and higher levels of unemployment. Savings figures can fluctuate on a monthly basis, and are often influenced by fixed term products maturing in the month."

~ Ends ~

Hilary McVitty
Tel: 020 7520 5926
Email: hilary.mcvitty@bsa.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

Mutual statistics January 2012 - further detailed statistical tables accompany this press release. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

Mutuals' gross lending amounted to £1,892 million in January 2012 compared to £1,433 million in January 2011.
Net lending by mutuals in January 2011 was £1 million compared -£534 million in January 2011.
Mortgage approvals by mutuals in January 2012 were £1,730 million compared to £1,123 million in January 2011.
Savings balances at mutuals decreased by £1,125 million in January 2012 compared to a reduction of £424 million in January 2011.
There was a net withdrawal of £1,344 million from savings accounts held with mutuals in January 2012 compared to a net withdrawal of £697 million in January 2011.
Mutuals had a net withdrawal of £333 million from cash ISAs in January 2012 compared to a net withdrawal of £242 million in January 2011.
1. The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents mutual lenders and deposit takers in the UK including all 47 UK building societies. Mutual lenders and deposit takers have total assets of over £375 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of nearly £240 billion, 19% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold more than £250 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 22% of all such deposits in the UK. Mutual deposit takers account for 34% of cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 50,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 2,000 branches.

2. Data in this release relates to 47 building societies and five other mutual deposit taking and lending institutions.

3. Photographs of Adrian Coles are available from the BSA press office, or from the Association's website at www.bsa.org.uk or Headlinemoney www.headlinemoney.co.uk

Hilary McVitty
Head of External Affairs
The Building Societies Association
6th Floor, York House
23 Kingsway, London

Tel: 020 7520 5926
Mobile: 07507 837 326
Fax: 020 7240 5290
Twitter - @BSABuildingSocs

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