BoE: £18.8bn drawndown in final FLS quarter

Some 31 participants made net drawdowns of £18.8bn during the final quarter of 2013 whilst participants repaid over £1bn of outstanding money drawn, taking outstanding aggregate drawings in the first part of the scheme to £41.9bn.

Net lending to households and businesses stood at £5.8bn, while cumulative lending from 2012 Q3 to 2013 Q4 was £10.3bn over the 18 month period.

Paul Fisher, executive director for markets at the Bank of England, said: “The UK recovery has gained momentum, with easier credit conditions playing an important role.

“Since the FLS was launched in mid-2012, FLS participants’ net lending to households and businesses has been around £10bn. In 2014 the FLS will continue to support lending to businesses, where it is most needed.

“The firm-by-firm sectoral lending data; published for the first time today, show that a number of participants, including some smaller, challenger banks, have successfully used the FLS to expand their SME lending.”

Prior to the announcement of the scheme in June 2012, UK bank lending was judged more likely to decline than increase over the next 18 months.

The BoE and HM Treasury will now focus on business lending in 2014 after changing the terms of the FLS extension.

A total of 28, out of 34 users of the scheme, have signed up to the FLS Extension, which gives an initial allowance of 32.7bn, of which more than £17bn reflects ten times the positive net lending to SMEs by those participants receiving an initial allowance.

Ashley Brown, managing director of independent mortgage broker, Moneysprite, said: "The mortgage market had a frankly stupendous start to 2014. The demand for property in the first two months of the year has not been stronger since 2007.

"The traditional seasonal December drop-off never happened and in January things kicked on even further. People are more confident about buying and mortgages are not just more available, but are still available at highly competitive rates.

"There's no doubt that the message has got out about the Mortgage Market Review, and how this could potentially slow things down and tighten criteria.

"We are also seeing a definite increase in people remortgaging. The rate rise debate is causing many people to lock in and try and keep their repayments low even once the upcycle in rates has begun."