Santander UK results lifted by resurgence of mortgage market

SANTANDER UK’s profits jumped in the first quarter of the year, increasing by nearly half as the housing market recovery pumps mortgage lending upwards.

Profits before tax rose to £416m between January and March, according to results released yesterday. The earnings mark a 48 per cent increase from the same period in 2013.

The significant rise in profits comes on the back of a boom in gross mortgage lending, which has increased to £5.7bn, up by 70 per cent from the £3.3bn in the same quarter last year.

Lending for house purchases has grown across the board in the last year, as the number of sales has swelled, particularly in London.

Santander also benefitted from the new faster switching of bank accounts, with a net rise of 10 per cent of accounts transferred from other banks, an increase of 63,000.

There has been continual speculation over when Santander UK could float, but the bank insisted at the start of the year that it had “no current plans” to do so.

Santander’s Spanish parent group also announced yesterday that it would buy up 25 per cent of its publicly listed Brazilian subsidiary using shares in the bank worth €4.69bn (£3.85bn).