Lloyds Banking Group saw its mortgage lending drop slightly in the first half of 2019 compared to the corresponding period last year.
Its H1 results showed at 30 June its open mortgage book was £264.9bn, down from £267.1bn year-on-year while its closed mortgage book stood at £19.8bn after the first six months of the year, down from £22.2bn this time last year. Its open mortgage book grew from 264.1bn at the end of March.
António Horta-Osório, group chief executive, said: “The group has continued to make strong strategic progress during the first half of 2019 and delivered a good financial performance with market leading efficiency and returns.
“The economy has remained resilient although economic uncertainty has led to some softening in business confidence as well as in international economic indicators.
“In this environment our strategy continues to be the right one and we are well placed to support our customers and continue to help Britain prosper.”
In the first six months the group delivered an underlying profit of £4.2bn, in line with prior year, with a statutory profit after tax of £2.2bn, despite an additional PPI charge of £650m.
Total costs of £4bn were down 5%, with operating costs down 3% and remediation down 44%.
Lloyds Banking Group remained the largest lender last year, according to UK Finance. In a list from UK Finance of the value of gross lending of its members the group’s market share was 20.4% in 2018, down slightly from 21.2% in 2017.
Horta-Osório added: “In the first six months of 2019 we have continued to deliver for our customers whilst making strong strategic progress, increasing investment in the business and helping Britain prosper.
“At the same time we have delivered a good financial performance with market leading efficiency and returns which has enabled the board to announce an increased interim dividend. Given our clear UK focus, our performance is inextricably linked with the health of the UK economy.
“The economy has remained resilient, however the continued economic uncertainty is having an impact on business confidence and leading to some softening in international economic indicators.
“Companies’ investment and employment intentions have both declined in the second quarter of 2019 while global growth has softened and interest rate expectations have declined.
“Despite this the consumer sector remains robust with increased levels of employment and rising real wages, supporting consumption and GDP growth.”
Horta-Osório said: “In recent years we have deliberately taken a prudent approach to growth and risk and have continued to invest in the business while maintaining a relentless focus on costs.
“The success of this approach is demonstrated by our financial performance in the first half of the year, which shows the resilience of our business model and the ability to generate market leading returns in an uncertain environment.
“This further reinforces my confidence that our strategy remains the right one in the current environment and that our significant cost advantage and unique business model mean the group is well placed to continue to support its customers, help Britain prosper and deliver sustainable, superior returns to our shareholders.”