HSBC is making a push into British mortgages with plans to lend an extra £35bn to homeowners as mortgage approvals for house purchase hit a two-year high, the latest figures from the Bank of England show.
Ian Stuart, HSBC UK's chief executive, said the bank plans to increase its market share from roughly 7% to more than 10%. "I think our natural share's about 11%, but I don't look out too far. We're about £100bn today, so getting up to £135bn . . . seems sensible to me," he told the FT.
The lending data showed there were 67,306 mortgage approvals for house purchase last month, up 1.2% on a monthly basis and the highest level since July 2017.
Approvals were also above the six-month average of 65,661.
The Bank of England was still cautious, though, stating: "This was the strongest since July 2017, but remains within the very narrow range seen over the past two years."
It echoes UK Finance data that showed high street bank mortgage lending was on the rise. The latest industry figures show that gross mortgage lending in the UK in July was 2.9% higher than the same month in 2018 and the highest since March 2016.
This totalled £26.1bn and there were 95,126 mortgages approved by the main High Street banks in July 2019, the highest monthly total since July 2009 when it was 99,970, according to the figures from trade body UK Finance.
With the Brexit deadline approaching and house prices still stagnant, prospective buyers are taking advantage of the competitive mortgage deals currently on the market.