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Bank of England's Funding For Lending Scheme Beginning To Have Effect

Bank of England’s Funding For Lending Scheme Beginning To Have Effect

The £80 Billion (GBP) Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), launched in August by the Bank of England (BoE) and HM Treasury, is starting to show signs of having a positive effect.

The multi Billion pound scheme designed to unclog the flow of credit to the UK’s residential homebuyers is having the desired impact as official figures show an upturn in mortgage approvals.

The Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) makes money available to banks on the condition they pass it on to businesses and households in the form of cheaper loans and mortgages.

The Bank of England have stated that the number of loans approved for residential property purchases rose by 2,103 to 50,024 in September 2012 and the number of loans approved for re-mortgaging increased by 1,860 to 28,343.

Meanwhile, unsecured consumer credit has also increased by £1.2 Billion (GBP) in September 2012, the sharpest rise since February 2008, including an increase of £307 Million (GBP) in credit card borrowing while the remaining £900 Million (GBP) came from overdrafts and unsecured personal loans.

Borrowers have faced even tougher times trying to take out a mortgage in recent months as lenders tightened their lending criteria even further, causing a drop in the proportion of mortgages approved.

The average interest rate on new mortgages also fell slightly, from 3.84% to 3.77%, offering some hope that the recent rise in borrowing costs may also be starting to ease.

Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, said that “More than 20 banking groups, including the five largest lenders in the UK, have signed up to the Funding for Lending Scheme, while funding costs have fallen by around one percentage point”.

However, Sir Mervyn warned the initiative was temporary and lenders would have to accept further losses if normal banking services are ever to make a return.

The reductions in borrowing rates have primarily been aimed at households taking out mortgages with low Loan-To-Value (LTV) mortgages. So they may not help first-time buyers (FTBs) much.

As mentioned last week, borrowers are still faced with some degree of uncertainty when looking for mortgages or credit as despite all the positive noises made by the BoE and the Government, banks are still fairly reluctant to lend.
Read last week’s top story here.

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New Measures Announced To Boost UK Cashflow

New Measures Announced To Boost UK Cashflow

Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, last week announced further measures to boost the UK’s economic recovery, in his Mansion House speech.

The BoE have launched a Multi-Billion (GBP) initiative to increase the cash flow of some of Britain’s biggest financial institutions.

The Bank’s offer of £5 Billion (GBP) in six-month loans at a rate of only 0.75% has already been entirely taken up by major UK banks and it is understood that they were told to apply by Sir Mervyn himself.

The Governor of the Bank of England does not want the scheme to be seen as another ill conceived emergency measure, instead, he intends the money to be considered as a mainstream source of funding.

It is also widely rumoured that a similar loan process will occur on a monthly basis.

The facility announced by Sir Mervyn King is just one of several measures aimed at boosting the economic recovery and encouraging investment.

The BoE Governor also launched an estimated £80 Billion (GBP) policy with Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, intended to prevent a second credit crunch in the UK as fears surrounding the impact of the Eurozone debt crisis grow.

Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has said “Britain could be in the grip of the most serious financial crisis ever and that the global and UK economies have been turned on their heads in the past three months.

Speaking last Thursday evening Bank of England chief stated that the world had changed, and the situation could be even worse than the great Depression of the 1930s.

He argued that it was critical to do the right thing, which in the UK meant the creation of more money.

Sir Mervyn was speaking after the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee kept rates on hold for the 32nd month in a row at the historic low of 0.5% with investors now believing that rates will not rise until early 2013 at the very earliest.

Since nominal interest rates are already as low as they can realistically go and the Government has ruled out easing back on deficit reduction more QE is really the only thing left as the world slides, towards a very sharp slowdown.

Sir Mervyn dismissed fears that printing more money would trigger dangerous levels of inflation and said Britain’s problem was too little money in the economy, not too much.

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