Abbey and Alliance & Leicester owner Santander has met Government demands to free up credit with an increase in half-year lending to businesses and homeowners.
The Spanish bank, which also owns Bradford & Bingley’s savings arm after a buying spree last year, reported a £2 billion increase in total mortgage lending and a 13 per cent hike in loans to small businesses in the six months to June 30.
Chancellor Alistair Darling met bank chiefs this week in a bid to get tough over the ongoing lack of finance available to firms and individuals. Santander revealed its share of the UK mortgage market rose to 16.3 per cent as total mortgage lending increased one per cent to £161.2 billion.
Net mortgage lending shrank by a hefty 67 per cent to £2 billion in the first six months of the year.