Bradford & Bingley said it had made a solid start to the year as it set aside economic worries to keep a positive view on the mortgage market.

The buy-to-let specialist added it was on track to meet City expectations for full-year results, tipped to come in at around £297.5 million in the current financial year, against £280.2 million previously.

Chief executive Steven Crawshaw told the group's annual meeting that the outlook for the mortgage market remained positive despite " broader economic uncertainties".

B&B said the housing market was showing signs of stabilising as expected, and that confidence was returning to the buy-to-let market.

It continued to believe that the current interest rates cycle was either at or within 0.25 per cent of its peak.

Rates have remained on hold at 4.75 per cent for the last eight months but many analysts believe there will be one further hike to five per cent this year.

The group's pipeline of mortgage agreements was lower than last year due to strong comparatives, but was improving in line with plans.

Within its high street operation, B&B's tie-up with Legal & General was performing "very satisfactorily". B&B is offering some of the insurer's products at its branches as part of a partnership announced last November.

Its savings division was performing extremely well, with its internet account attracting new customers "at a very pleasing rate".

The group also said more of the benefits of a cost reduction programme would come through this year.