Cash continues to flow into building societies


- Building society gross advances amounted to £3,528 million in May 2005, compared to £3,801 million in May 2004.

- Net advances were £1,070 million in May 2005, down from £1,301 million in May 2004.

- Approvals (loans agreed, but not yet made) decreased to £3,836 million in May 2005, from £4,410 million in May 2004.

- In the savings market, building societies had net inflows of £796 million in May 2005, up from £475 million in May 2004.

- Building society net receipts into cash ISAs were £295 million in May 2005.

Commenting on the savings market, Adrian Coles, Director-General of The Building Societies Association, said: “Savings inflows were strong in May, with the net figure well up on that recorded a year ago. Inflows may have been boosted by a prolonged ISA season and people still choosing the relatively low risk option of cash savings over the stock market.”

On the mortgage side Mr Coles said: “The decision by the Bank of England last week to keep its Base Rates unchanged was clearly sensible in the light of these figures, which show the mortgage market remaining steady in recent months. In the absence of major shocks, the market is likely to continue to be subdued but stable.”