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UK Mortgages 2010: Competitive Dynamics in the UK Mortgage
Market
Published on August 2010

                                                                                                                Report Summary

Introduction


The mortgage market continues to face challenging conditions in 2010, but there are signs that the situation is slowly recovering.
Although lending volumes remain very low compared to before the crisis, product availability and affordability are improving. Some
providers have been able to exploit their relative financial strength to significantly increase market share.


Scope


*Provides an overview of the general market, looking at trends in gross and net lending.


*Examines in detail the performance of lender types and specific providers relative to one another.


*Analyses current trends in the availability of mortgage products, as well as assessing movements in fees and rates.


Highlights


Banks are performing better than other lenders, with their share of gross lending rising from 68% in 2007 to 83% in 2009. Santander
and HSBC have exploited their strength relative to other banks to significantly expand their share of lending. Specialists' share of the
market fell from 17% in 2007 to just 4% in 2009 as wholesale funding collapsed.


Building societies have found conditions particularly difficult. Compensation scheme levies, deposit outflows, stricter liquidity
requirements and narrowing margins have impaired their profitability and ability to lend. Many building societies have been forced to
merge to safeguard their future.


Product availability is improving, rates are starting to fall and maximum LTVs are gradually increasing. A few lenders are now offering
95% LTV loans. Other providers, such as Nationwide and Lloyds TSB, are offering preferential deals to their current account
customers to promote loyalty and cross-sales.


Reasons to Purchase


*Understand the key issues driving changes in the competitive landscape.


*Discover why some lenders are outperforming the rest of the market while others are struggling.


*Learn about the latest developments in product attributes and innovation.




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                                                                                                           Table of Content

Overview 1
Catalyst 1
Summary 1
Executive Summary 2
Changes in market share reflect the contrasting fortunes of the leading lenders 2
Santander and HSBC have exploited their competitive advantages to capture market share 2
LBG is the only major lender to have suffered a fall in market share 2
Nationwide and Barclays just managed to hold their own in 2009 2
The top six lenders collectively increased their dominance of the market 3
Building societies have come under intense pressure over the last 12 months 3
Many building societies have been forced to merge to safeguard their position 3
The availability and cost of mortgages is gradually starting to recover 4
The overall number of available products has doubled since June 2009 4
TABLE OF CONTENTS 6
TABLE OF FIGURES 7
Table of tables 8
Market Overview 9
Changes in market share reflect the contrasting fortunes of the leading lenders 9
Santander and HSBC have exploited their competitive advantages to capture market share 9
LBG is the only major lender to have suffered a fall in market share 9
Nationwide and Barclays just managed to hold their own in 2009 9
The top six lenders collectively increased their dominance of the market 10
Growth in outstanding balances has come to a virtual halt 10
Few lenders experienced notable rises in value of their mortgage books in 2009 10
Banks' mortgage books grew while those of building societies and specialist lenders shrank 11
Banks have strengthened their dominance of the mortgage market 12
State intervention in the funding markets has handed the banks a competitive advantage 12
Mergers and acquisitions have increased the power of the largest banks 13
The forced break-up of the largest banking groups may not be enough to restore balance 13
Bank profits are starting to recover as the crisis unwinds 13
The ability of building societies to lend has been hampered by market conditions 14
Building societies have been affected by several different events 14
There has been lower take-up of Treasury and Bank of England support schemes by mutuals 14
Building societies are finding it difficult to compete with banks for retail deposits 14
Costs of financing the Financial Services Compensation Scheme fall most heavily on building societies 16
Regulatory proposals by the Financial Services Authority may further disadvantage building societies 16
Building societies have fewer funding options open to them 16
Building societies have lost out to banks in the fight for new business 17
Specialist lenders have endured a sudden collapse after several years of rapid expansion 18
The lack of wholesale funding has virtually wiped out specialist lenders 18
The authorities have decided to restrict the activities of specialist lenders 19
Lender Developments 20
The leading providers all witnessed falls in gross lending in 2009 20
LBG suffered the largest absolute and relative decline in gross lending 20
Santander has capitalized on its ability to attract retail deposits 20
The relative fall in gross lending at RBS was the lowest of all the major providers in 2009 20


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HSBC also managed to maintain gross lending almost unchanged 21
A focus on direct sales helps HSBC to compete aggressively on price 21
Lending at Nationwide has held up well despite the pressures it has been facing 21
Building societies have come under intense pressure over the last 12 months 22
Many building societies have been forced to merge to safeguard their position 22
Concerns have been raised over the financial stability of some building societies 24
Several building societies have raised their standard variable rates in recent months 24
Other small lenders are likely to follow suit 25
Kent Reliance has turned to private equity for additional funding 25
A few building societies are managing to outperform their peers 25
YBS is aiming to double gross lending in 2010 25
Coventry Building Society has increased both profits and market share 26
Specialist lenders are beginning to re-enter the market 26
Private equity investment and greater wholesale funding are facilitating the return of specialists 26
The buy-to-let market could be partially revived by a mismatch on RMBS pricing 27
Specialist lending is unlikely to capture as large a share of the market as it had before the crisis 27
Buy-to-let lending still faces a challenging future 28
The emergence of new providers could lead to greater competition 28
Aldermore operates under a traditional model 29
Metro Bank will focus on service rather than price 29
Tesco Bank will start offering mortgages by within the next few months 29
Other providers are also about to enter the fray 30
Product Developments 31
The availability and cost of mortgages is gradually starting to recover 31
The overall number of available products has doubled since June 2009 31
Higher LTV mortgages have started to re-emerge 32
Lloyds TSB is catering for borrowers who require mortgages up to 95% LTV 34
Other providers have expanded their presence in the high LTV market 35
Building societies are finding it easier to make an impact in the high, rather than low, LTV market 35
Mortgages are starting to come down in price 35
Margins have been narrowing since late 2009 37
Some lenders have cut upfront arrangement fees in an effort to increase new business levels 38
Most SVRs are likely to remain at or close to their current low levels 39
Mortgage providers are once again starting to innovate 39
Some lenders now allow borrowers to combine fixed and variable rates in one mortgage 39
HSBC offers a fixed/variable rate Split Loan Mortgage 39
Co-operative/ Britannia now lets customers mix and match across its variable and fixed rate deals 40
Other lenders are offering new interest rate-related features to combat uncertainty 41
John Charcol has introduced a facility for borrowers to cap their mortgage rates 41
Yorkshire Building Society lets borrowers on their final mortgages annually renew their fixed rates 42
Most innovation is coming from smaller lenders at present 42
Providers are using mortgages to promote loyalty and cross-sales 42
Santander has successfully increased current account openings on the back of its mortgage book 43
Nationwide is encouraging current account usage by offering exclusive mortgage deals to account holders 43
LBG uses mortgages in its approach to increase cross-sales among its customers 44
APPENDIX 46
Supplementary data 46
Definitions 57
Bank of England base rate 57
Gross advances 57


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Residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) 57
LIBOR 57
Methodology 58
Further reading 58
Ask the analyst 58
Datamonitor consulting 58
Disclaimer 58



List of Tables
Table 1: The number of building societies in the UK continues to fall 4
Table 2: The number of building societies in the UK continues to fall 23
Table 3: Share of total gross lending 46
Table 4: Total number of mortgage products 47
Table 5: Outstanding mortgage balances by provider 48
Table 6: Outstanding balances by type of provider 48
Table 7: net change in building society retail deposits (£m) 49
Table 8: Share of gross lending by type of lender 50
Table 9: Index of gross lending by specialist lenders and MFIs (January 1994 = 100) 51
Table 10: Gross mortgage lending in 2008 and 2009 (£ billion) 52
Table 11: Total number of buy-to-let mortgage products 53
Table 12: Distribution of LTVs on gross lending (percentage of new lending by value) 54
Table 13: Total number of 90%+ LTV mortgage products 55
Table 14: Average quoted rate on two year fixed rate mortgages (%) 56
Table 15: Distribution of margins above base rate on gross lending 57



List of Figures
Figure 1: Santander, RBS and HSBC all claimed markedly bigger shares of the market in 2009 3
Figure 2: The number of mortgage products has increased slightly over the last 12 months 5
Figure 3: Santander, RBS and HSBC all claimed markedly bigger shares of the market in 2009 10
Figure 4: LBG and Nationwide have both seen their mortgage books contract in size 11
Figure 5: Banks were the only type of lender to see outstanding balances rise in 2009 12
Figure 6: Building society retail deposits fell in 2009 for the first time since records began in 1955 15
Figure 7: Building societies have failed to build market share as the banks have managed 17
Figure 8: Gross lending by specialists has collapsed since the onset of the banking crisis 18
Figure 9: LBG saw the biggest fall in gross lending of the top providers in 2009 22
Figure 10: The total number of buy-to-let products remains low 28
Figure 11: The number of mortgage products has increased slightly over the last 12 months 32
Figure 12: High LTV lending has been restricted since the middle of 2008 33
Figure 13: The availability of 90%+ mortgage products has gradually improved since mid-2009 34
Figure 14: The cost of two year fixed-rate mortgages is falling 37
Figure 15: Margins have been gradually shrinking over the last six months 38
Figure 16: HSBC is marketing a combined fixed and variable rate monrtgage 40
Figure 17: John Charcol offers an alternative to traditional fixed rates 42
Figure 18: Many of Nationwide's best deals are only available to its current account holders 44
Figure 19: Lloyds TSB and Halifax offer preferential mortgage rates to their bank account customers 45




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