Commenting on today's Autumn Statement, Robin Fieth Chief Executive of the Building Societies Association, said:
"The BSA applauds the Government's actions to boost house building through streamlining the planning process and reducing costs for developers. The availability of £1 billion in loans to unblock large housing developments is a welcome initiative, particularly when a lack of new housing stock in some parts of the country can be a major constraint on both first-time buyers and movers in finding the right property for them.
"Measures to tackle the cost of living and address the amount households spend on things like fuel and energy costs could also help to improve the affordability of mortgage repayments for first-time buyers, making it more comfortable to secure a foot on the property ladder.
"However, hard-pressed savers will continue to feel the pinch during the lower-for-longer interest rate period. The Chancellor should listen to calls to improve this situation by making some simple changes to ISA rules to allow savers to use up their annual allowance in cash savings and to remove the block on transferring equity savings into cash products.
"Building societies and other mutual lenders have consistently led the mortgage market this year. Latest figures from the Bank of England confirm that mutuals out-performed the rest of the market in the third quarter, doing more net lending but at the same time drawing down less from the Funding for Lending Scheme than banks and other lenders."
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Notes for Editors
1. The latest available data regarding FLS draw downs (£ billion) and net eligible lending broken down Q3 2013 and figures so far in table below:
Institutions participating in the FLS Mutual lenders Other lenders Total
Number of firms signed up 28 14 42
Net eligible lending in Q3 2013 £4.3 £1.5 £5.8
Net eligible lending so far £15.7 -£12.1 £3.6
Amount drawn from FLS in Q3 2013 £1.5 £4.0 £5.5
Amount drawn from FLS so far £6.9 £16.2 £23.1
2. Quarter 3 2013 FLS figures were released on Monday 2 December
3. The BSA represents mutual lenders and deposit takers in the UK, including all 45 building societies. Mutual lenders and deposit takers have total assets of over £380 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of £250 billion, 20% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold more than £260 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 21% of all such deposits in the UK. Mutual deposit takers account for 30% of cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 50,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 2,000 branches.More Articles by Building Societies Association (BSA) ...