HSBC boosts loans to homebuyers by a fifth

HSBC today said it had increased lending to homebuyers by a fifth, and to first-time buyers by a third, so far this year.

The bank, Europe's largest, is expected to report a healthy 80 per cent rise in profits today but will also set aside hundreds of millions more for mis-selling payment protection insurance on top of the £1.1bn it has already earmarked.

HSBC said it had approved £15.6bn to mortgage borrowers in the first nine months of the year, with £4 billion of that going to first-time buyers. Lending to UK businesses over the same period was up 5 per cent at £22.7bn, with loans to small and medium sized companies up by 10 per cent at £9.5bn.

Antonio Simoes, head of HSBC in the UK, said: "This year, we have lent a significant amount to both our business and individual customers, and our market share has continued to grow in a challenging environment.

"Our latest figures show that we are already well on our way to surpassing our commitments for the year, with three months still remaining."