‘Household spending lost some momentum’
The profits of British lender, Nationwide Building Society, fell 6 percent in the nine months ending on December 31 — from £946m to £886m — amid lower consumer spending following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.
Mortgage lending also fell to £24.1bn in its third-quarter, down from £26.2bn in the same period last year.
Chief executive Joe Garner said: “Household spending, a key driver of growth, lost some momentum. Retail sales and car registrations have slowed and consumer confidence has also softened.”
Net lending for prime mortgages, which include most products other than buy-to-let mortgages, was £4.3bn in the three months to December 31 down from £7.3bn in the same quarter of 2016.
“As we anticipated, a subdued buy to let mortgage market, plus sustained competition, slowed the pace of growth in our mortgage book. With third quarter mortgage reservations significantly stronger than for the same period last year, we expect a strong final quarter for our gross lending.,” Garner added.
With around one in three people in Britain having little or no material savings, Garner said, inflation is squeezing budgets and impacting consumer confidence.