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Mixed news on mortgage lending

Mortgage approvals rise in March


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Lending figures released at the end of last week indicated some positive signs, but the market remains subdued year-on-year.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchase increased 4% during March as buyers continued their return to the market, figures showed today.

A total of 39,230 loans were approved for people buying a home during the month, the highest level in ten months, according to the Bank of England.

But the rise is a steep slowdown from that seen in February, when approvals jumped 18% from the previous month.


Separate data from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) had indicated that lending by providers to small businesses grew by £271m in March 2009.

These figures suggest that small businesses may slowly be finding it easier to borrow money from the high street banks. Deposits by small businesses also grew by £881m in March.

A BBA spokesman said: “The stock of lending to small businesses is around 5% higher than a year ago and has risen in each of the first three months of 2009, reflecting general banking support and individual bank pledges to make finance available.”


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