Lloyds pledges £6.5bn for first time buyers through this year

Tim Wallace
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LLOYDS is increasing its mortgages to first time buyers to its highest level since the group was dragged down in the financial crisis and had to be bailed out, indicating it is edging closer back to health.

The banking group has promised to lend £6.5bn to 60,000 first time buyers in 2013.

That is an increase on the £5bn pledged to 50,000 last year, and up on the £5.7bn loaned in first time mortgages in 2011, £5.6bn in 2010 and £5.3bn in 2009.

Before that the figures are not comparable as that was when Lloyds merged with HBOS.

The bank has been the biggest user of the Funding for Lending Scheme so far, drawing down £3bn from the Bank of England.

It says it is using the cash to support mortgages and lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). But the bank also noted it is hard for one institution alone to boost overall lending or the economy.

“The recovery in the housing market rests on growth in the wider economy,” said Lloyds’ Stephen Noakes.

“Whilst the property market is likely to continue to be challenging, we remain committed to getting things right at the start of the chain, creating liquidity in the housing market and helping more people get on to the property ladder in 2013."