BSA: Mutual lenders’ strong start to 2013 continues in March

Mutual lenders’ strong start to 2013 continues in March

Gross mortgage lending by building societies and other mutual lenders was £2.9 billion in March, up by 8% compared to the same month last year. Mutuals took a 25% market share of gross lending in March, up from 22% in March 2012.

For the first quarter of 2013 gross lending by mutuals was £.7.8 billion, a 19% increase on the same period a year ago.

Net mortgage lending (gross lending minus repayments) by mutuals was £1.0 billion in March, up from £0.8 billion in the same month last year. In the first quarter of 2013, net lending by mutuals was £1.9 billion, up from £0.9 billion in the first quarter of 2012. During the same period in 2013 net lending by other providers was minus £1.7 billion.

Building societies and other mutual lenders approved a total of 30,495 mortgages in March, up 12% compared to the 27,260 in the same month last year and up 26% on the 24,294 loans approved in February.

Retail savings balances at mutuals rose by £1.2 billion in March compared to a reduction of £0.3 billion in the same month last year.

Commenting, Adrian Coles, Director-General of the Building Societies Association, said:

“Gross lending by building societies and other mutuals increased once again in March, and was 8% higher compared to March 2012. Net lending also increased and remained positive, a feature of sector performance for 18 consecutive months now. It reflects the fact that the mutual sector has remained open for business. This is further evidenced by the fact that mutuals have been punching above their weight in the provision of higher loan to value ratio loans – of all of the mortgage products available to borrowers with a deposit of 10 per cent or less 51 per cent are available from a mutual lender*. Net lending by banks and other mortgage providers has been negative in recent months as many of them work to restructure their balance sheets.

“Savings balances held with mutuals increased significantly in March, in contrast to the reduction in balances in the same month last year. The low risk nature of building society deposit accounts is appealing to people at this time when alternative investments come with significantly more risk, but not necessarily a greater return. Households’ ability to save is likely to face continued pressure this year as consumer price inflation is expected to reach three per cent, whilst growth in regular pay is at an all time low.”

*Source: Moneyfacts 26/04/13

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Hilary McVitty
Tel: 020 7520 5926 email:

Victoria Bamber
Tel: 020 7520 5927 email:


Mutual statistics March 2013 – data is not seasonally adjusted.
Mutuals March 2013 March 2012
Gross Lending £2,942m £2,733m
Net Lending £1,002m £832m
Mortgage Approvals (£) £3,648m £2,979m
Mortgage Approvals (No) 30,495 27,260
Change in Savings Balances £1,177m -£267m
Net Receipts – All Savings £555m -£945m
Net Receipts – ISAs £294m £155m

Additional data tables are attached.

1.      The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents mutual lenders and deposit takers in the UK including all 46 UK building societies. Mutual lenders and deposit takers have total assets of over £375 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of £245 billion, 20% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold more than £250 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 22% of all such deposits in the UK. Mutual deposit takers account for 31% of cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 50,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 2,000 branches.

2.      Data in this release relates to 46 building societies and four other mutual deposit taking and lending institutions in the UK.

3.      Photographs of Adrian Coles are available from the BSA press office, or from the Association’s website at or Headlinemoney

4.      Follow the BSA on Twitter @BSABuildingSocs


Lending and funding Microsoft Excel spreadsheets availale on request.


Fiona Carlin
Policy and External Affairs Officer
The Building Societies Association
6th Floor, York House
23 Kingsway, London

Tel: 020 7520 5904
Fax: 020 7240 5290
Find and follow the BSA on Twitter @BSABuildingSocs