UK banks approve 20 percent more mortgages in November: BBA

24 Dec, 2015 3:22 pm

LONDON – British banks approved 20 percent more mortgages in November than they did in the same month last year, the British Bankers’ Association said on Thursday.

Mortgage approvals for house purchase totalled 44,960 last month, up from 37,407 in November last year but down a touch from 45,463 in October, the BBA said.

“These statistics show the continued strength of the mortgage market, with monthly new lending higher than at any time over the past seven years,” BBA chief economist Richard Woolhouse said.

Gross mortgage borrowing of 12.8 billion pounds in November was 28 percent higher than a year earlier, the BBA said.

The BBA figures showed that banks’ net credit card lending rose to 318 million pounds from 149 million pounds in October, while lending for personal loans and overdrafts also increased.

The Bank of England has said it is watching consumer credit growth but has so far not introduced higher capital requirements for banks after a two-year recovery in Britain’s economy.

Woolhouse also said net lending to companies was expanding, particularly in the wholesale and retail sectors, as businesses took advantage of record low interest rates.

The BBA figures are a good guide for trends in more comprehensive Bank of England lending data, which will next be announced on Jan. 4. The BBA numbers do not include lending by mutually owned building societies, which accounts for almost a third of mortgages. -Reuters

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