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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Lloyds remains top mortgage lender

Lloyds Banking Group has held onto its lead as the UK's biggest mortgage lender despite losing market share.

Santander hopped above Nationwide to take the second spot in the gross lending list for 2014, compiled by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Lloyds, including subsidiaries Halifax and Bank of Scotland, lent £40.3 billion last year, up from £35.5 billion the year before, but its market share slipped very slightly from 20% to 19.8%.

Santander's share leapt to 13.5%, up from 10.3%, with mortgage loan levels rising to £27.5 billion, up from £18.3 billion.

Nationwide's market share dipped from 15.1% to 13.2% as it lent almost exactly the same amount year on year.

It lost market share to Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Barclays remained the fourth largest lender but increased its market share to 10% from 9.5%, with home loan lending rising to £20.3 billion, up from £16.9 billion.

Royal Bank of Scotland upped its total mortgage lending to £19.7 billion from £14.3 billion, lifting its share of the market to 9.7% from 8%.

The CML said that lending is still well below the peak levels seen in 2007, when aggregate lending totalled £357 billion, according to the revised Bank of England data.

The CML forecast that gross lending will rise around 3% from £203 billion last year to £209 billion this year, before accelerating slightly to £230 billion next year.

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