Lending by building societies still depressed, says BSA

The Building Societies Association (BSA) has said the level of lending by Britain’s 52 mutuals remains subdued as it released figures for August.

Data for the month showed that the gross lending total was £1.494 billion, compared with the £2.66 billion total for August 2008.

The total for approvals was £1.264 billion, down from £2.88 billion 12 months before.

BSA director-general Adrian Coles commented that there has been “signs of a modest improvement in market conditions in recent months”.

However, he stated, “activity will not return to normal levels until funds for mortgage lending are more widely available to building societies and other lenders”.

Earlier this month, mortgage broker at Click n go Mortgages Peter Cowell argued that lenders were doing too little to help consumers, particularly with the rates being charged for fixed deals.

He said these were too high in the light of the current very low Libor rate and said such homeowner loans were unattractive to those wanting to take on a mortgage.

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