Nationwide to start lending to business after bumper year for mortgages

Dated:   

conveyancingThe UK’s largest building society Nationwide has said that following a year of increased lending to homeowners, it is planning to start lending to businesses again.

Nationwide’s mortgage lending rose by 44% to £18.4bn in the year to April 2012. The number of loans to first-time buyers also increased by 9% to 24,000.

The building society says that it is now ready to begin lending to small businesses and SMEs, which have been hit particularly hard by the current economic climate.

The decision to begin lending to business again has been prompted by requests from customers.

“We're already a lender to the commercial real estate sector – we've been asked by customers to provide them with a corporate lending facility," said the Nationwide’s Chief Executive, Graham Beale.

Many SMEs say there is currently a lack of credit available from lenders to small-and medium-sized business, despite the government launching Project Merlin to encourage high street lenders to address the problem by providing loans to SMEs.

“We just feel it's a natural extension of what we can do,” Mr Beale added.


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