Abbey mortgages are 'a quarter of the market'

Date:Thursday 5th February 2009
Author: Rachel Fletcher

Abbey has announced that it is perceived by its customers to be a "safe haven" during the current credit crunch.

The UK's second-largest mortgage lender announced that it issued over one-quarter of all home loans last year, accounting for 28.9 per cent of the country's net mortgage lending in 2008.

While Abbey chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said the lender had to take possession of 860 properties in 2008, he asserted it still remains in a better position than the industry average in terms of repossessions and the number of customers who are more than three months in arrears with their mortgage payments.

He also said the bank was advancing in its efforts to lend to smaller firms and, in many cases, had been able to take on accounts from rival lenders.

"It's a unique opportunity for us. I do not like to comment on competitors but, in general, we are picking up some very good customers," Mr Horta-Osorio asserted.

Abbey announced today (February 5th) that all its mortgage products that track the base rate will be cut by 0.5 per cent, with the changes in effect from March.

The change is in line with the cut made to the base rate this morning by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee.