Barclays’ Finlay sees flat 2011 market

Sarah Davidson

August 16, 2010

Finlay said he believes incoming regulation and the move towards the Financial Services Authority’s view of a sustainable mortgage market will mean no growth over the next eighteen months.

He said: “It’s going to be another same-as year: dull would be the wrong word, but certainly same-as. And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. There’s regulation coming down the line and I think we’ve all got to get to grips with that.

“Every lender needs to be a responsible lender and give a good customer proposition. Part of that is the need to manage our risk – that’s what our business is about. We need to have sustainable growth.”

Finlay added that uncertainty about the imminent government cuts to the public sector and austerity measures announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in June’s Budget had yet to feed into the economy fully.

He said: “There’s a lot of uncertainty out there: a new government, a state package in terms of what’s come out of the Budget, lots of people thinking ‘actually, am I going to have a job, am I going to get a salary rise, what can I afford?’ and that’s going to keep the market flat.

“If we have a period of stability where we can get back on our feet, regain a stable economy and see house price indices moving ever so slightly up, I think that will give us a solid foundation to take the industry on.”

The years 2012, 2013 and 2014 should see growth in the mortgage market, said Finlay, but he added: “I genuinely believe that 2011 will be a reflection of 2010.”

He reaffirmed Barclays’ commitment to the intermediary sector through this period and said he expected the lender to achieve approximately 8% market share this year, with roughly half of mortgage business coming via brokers.

He said: “We are making sure that we continue to develop and I think if the market booms or we try to go too quickly, it won’t help anyone.”

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