Signing up to an annual direct debit payment plan from your energy supplier is supposed to help prevent bill shock as your payments are spread equally throughout the year. But it might not work like that...
Building society mortgage boost
Figures show Lloyds Banking Group has retained its position as the biggest mortgage lender
Several building societies increased their share of the mortgage market last year while some of the biggest lenders saw a decline, new figures show.
Lending remains "heavily concentrated" in the hands of the six largest lenders - Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, Barclays, Nationwide Building Society, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HSBC - the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.
The six largest lenders advanced mortgages worth £113.8 billion in 2011, compared with £110.8 billion the previous year, but despite this increase, their total market share declined modestly to 80.7% last year, from 81.9% in 2010.
The figures for loans advanced last year also reveal a pattern of larger mutual lenders increasing their place in the market, with Nationwide, Yorkshire, Coventry, Skipton and Leeds building societies all increasing their share.
HSBC, which recently launched a five-year fixed mortgage deal with a record low rate, was the only bank out of the biggest six mortgage lenders to increase its share, to 9.4%.
The CML said that ING Direct had been "by some distance" the fastest-growing lender in relative terms over the last two years. Ranked as the 10th largest lender, ING Direct advanced mortgages worth £3 billion last year, compared with £1.1 billion in 2010 and £100 million in 2009.
Lloyds Banking Group retained its position as the biggest mortgage lender, but its estimated market share decreased from 22.2% in 2010 to 19.9% last year.
The second biggest lender, Santander, also saw a slight decrease in its share, which dropped to 16.8% in 2011. RBS's estimated share was also slightly eroded to 10.4% last year. Barclays' share also decreased to 12.1%, despite the bank increasing its mortgage lending in 2011.
Lending is expected to remain tough this year amid continued economic uncertainty and the British Bankers' Association previously reported that mortgage approvals fell to their lowest level in at least 15 years last month.
Several lenders have announced rate cuts in recent days following more favourable swap rates, but much of the competition surrounds borrowers who are seen as less "risky", with hefty deposits of around 40%. Borrowers with smaller deposits are expected to have a particularly tough time finding a deal as lenders tighten their borrowing criteria.
related stories on msn
latest money videos
While Royal Mail showed an increase in yearly profits Marks and Spencer saw profits fall agaisnt last year's figures.
Date 21/05/13, Duration 1:51, Views 600
more on msn money
msn money poll
Would you like to receive offers from retailers – such as discount vouchers or sale previews - from your current account provider?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Yes - I'd like to receive any offers that could save me money
- Yes - but only if they were tailored specifically to my spending habits
- No - I already know where to look for vouchers and discounts
- 70 %No - I don't want to be contacted by my bank about anything other than my account