C&G joins bid trail

Cheltenham & Gloucester expanded its mortgage market share in the seven months run up to its takeover by Lloyds Bank in August, and now wants to buy building societies to boost its share even further.

A C&G spokeswoman said yesterday that C&G aimed to remain the UK's lowest cost mortgage provider, and that future growth would be both organic and by acquisition: "We are determined to grow, Lloyds Bank is determined to see us grow, and there are too many mortgage lenders around."

C&G passed into Lloyds Bank's ownership in August, when its members were paid the pounds 1.8bn acquisition price . From January to July C&G secured a market share of 5.63 per cent of the UK mortgage market - while at the end of 1994 it secured 4.18 per cent, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

These figures were achieved by C&G offices and do not include any lending done via Lloyds' 1,800 branches, though which its products are now being marketed.

The cost of the transfer to C&G was pounds 18.8m. Underlying profit before bad debts was pounds 162m for the seven months to 31 July, against pounds 257.8m for the 12 months to 31 December 1994.

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