Santander gross lending surges in Q1
Gross mortgage lending by Santander UK increased by 34% to £5.6bn in the first quarter of 2012 according to its latest results.
This is compared to Q1 2011 when the lender's gross lending for the quarter was £4.2bn.
Net mortgage lending by Santander over the first quarter of this year reached £0.2bn, up from the £0.6bn decline from the same period last year.
The bank estimated that its gross mortgage lending market share increased from 13.8% to 17.6%.
This would mean that Santander is writing around one in six UK mortgages.
Santander's financial and risk strategy is focused on strengthening its balance sheet and stability, the lender said in the report.
The bank said it therefore expects to originate fewer higher loan to value mortgages and less interest-only. As a consequence it said it expects its mortgage stock to contract over the year.
The results report said: "Mortgages and savings continued to be a core component of the retail offering, through both direct and intermediary channels.
"The current cross-tax year savings range offers customers attractive rates for term deposits and we continue to leverage our direct channels to attract and retain good quality mortgage lending."
Ana Botin, chief executive officer of Santander UK, said: "The macroeconomic outlook, together with increased funding costs and low interest rates, will continue to put pressure on earnings this year, partially offset by a broadening and deepening of our customer relationships and the maintenance of our cost discipline.
"Regulatory uncertainties continue to impact our ability to plan ahead."
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