Santander mortgage lending up 73pc

The bank recorded lending of £5.7bn compared to £3.3bn in Q1 2013.

As part of the Help to Buy scheme £62m was lent in the first quarter of 2014, with £1bn being to first-time buyers.

The group celebrated profits of £416m, almost twice the £282m recorded in Q1 2013, with the bank’s total income increasing by 13% to £1,094m.

Ana Botín, Santander’s chief executive officer, said: “We will continue to invest in the transformation of our franchise with a sustained programme of technology, digital, product and customer service improvements.

“This will enable us to continue to support our customers against a backdrop of an increasingly solid UK economic recovery, as they act with renewed confidence and translate their plans into reality.”