Standard sets pounds 4bn mortgages target

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The Independent Online
STANDARD LIFE Bank yesterday unveiled an aggressive mortgage target of pounds 4bn, saying it wanted to double its share of the UK market, taking it to 15 per cent.

According to figures it released yesterday, Standard Life Bank has lent over pounds 2bn for mortgages since launching its Freestyle flexible mortgage in January. It initially set a target of pounds 1bn of mortgage business for its first year.

The bank said it has completed over 26,000 mortgages and approved 50,000. It claims 11 to 12 per cent of the market.

The Freestyle mortgageuses a potential borrower's income and outgoings to assess suitability. Borrowers can take two payment holidays a year and make larger payments.

Jim Spowart, the bank's managing director, said: "We believe our success shows that banks do not have to offer loss-leading rates or gimmicks to attract customers."

The competitive challenge of such new entrants into the banking market has raised the pressure on traditional mortgage banks such as Halifax, Woolwich and Abbey National.