Press release

Building societies maintained a high market share of new approvals in Q1 2020, figures reveal

Released today, BSA lending and savings figures for Q1 2020 show that building societies maintained a high market share of new approvals in the quarter. At the end of March, the impact of Coronavirus was yet to make a significant impact on lending volumes.

Paul Broadhead, BSA Head of Mortgages and Housing comments:

“Building societies performed well in the first quarter of the year, approving nearly a quarter of new mortgages in the UK during the period. Lending activity was beginning to pick up following uncertainty surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU at the end of January. However the Coronavirus outbreak has understandably paused any momentum.

With the housing market effectively halted between the end of March and end of May, lending activity in the second quarter of the year will be materially lower than normal. However, building societies are well placed and resilient enough to weather the storm and are preparing to ramp up lending now that the housing market is beginning to reopen.

Building society savings balances grew in the first quarter of the year. Early evidence indicates that the support of the Government furlough scheme, coupled with the fact that many people have spent less during lockdown may promote growth in cash savings in total. However personal financial resilience will be on the minds of many people as the economic implications for individuals start to become clearer.

Similarly if borrowers find themselves in financial difficulty due to the coronavirus, or for any other reason, they should contact their lender to discuss the options available to help them.”

Building society mortgage lending Q1 2020

  • Building societies hold outstanding mortgage balances of £336.6bn, a 23% market share, and up 3% on the £327.3bn at the end of Q1 2019.
  • Gross lending was £13.5bn, a 21% market share, but down 19% on the £16.7 billion in Q1 2019.
  • Net lending was £0.9bn, an 8% market share, but down 83% compared to the £5.1 billion in Q1 2019.
  • Building societies approved 101,000 new mortgage loans, a 27% market share, but down 16% on the 121,000 loans in Q1 2019.
  • Building societies lent to over 19,500 first-time buyers.

Building society savings balances Q1 2020

  • Building societies hold savings balances of £297.3bn, an 18% market share, and up 4% on the £284.7bn at the end of Q1 2019.
  • Savings balances increased by £3.1bn, a 14% market share, but down 20% on the £3.8bn increase in Q1 2019.
  • Cash ISA balances grew by £0.7bn. Banks saw cash ISA balances increase by £1.3bn. Societies have a share of 39% of all cash ISAs deposits.


Hilary McVitty, Tel: 020 7520 5926 /07507 837 326
Amy Harland, Tel: 020 7520 5927


Notes to editors

Download building society mortgage lending figures here

Download building society savings figures here.


*Savers £450 million better off with building societies in first half of 2019


The BSA Team

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