Bank of England data shows that mortgage approvals fell from 55,632 in December to 54,719 in January. This is still just over half the level before the 2008 crash. Many were expecting higher figures as a result of the government's Funding for Lending scheme.
As Allister Heath writes, the number of mortgages shouldn't be the only thing we look at in assessing Funding for Lending. We need to see what sort of lending it has led to:
It could encourage dodgy lending, given that the Bank of England will underwrite some risks. It involves trying to plan the volume of credit by private banks. It aims to boost all forms of credit – but since when is the UK’s problem insufficient credit card borrowing? If the view is that small firms are being deprived of funds, then why subsidise all loans?