Santander for Intermediaries  

Santander's plan to clawback mortgage market share

Santander's plan to clawback mortgage market share

Santander has pledged to bounce back this year after losing market share and dropping down the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ (CML) gross lending rankings.

The bank lent £25.5bn-worth of mortgages during 2016, giving it a 10.4 per cent market share – down from the £26.1bn and 11.8 per cent market share achieved in the previous year.

It was the only major lender to move down the CML’s rankings, falling from third to fourth behind Royal Bank of Scotland – although Lloyds Bank also lost market share while retaining its position as the biggest lender.

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But Graham Sellars, Santander’s head of business development for mortgages, told FTAdviser he was confident the bank would be able to recover lost ground in 2017.

“We did slightly less than we wanted to do last year, but this year we want to be doing 12 per cent again,” he said. “We should see the numbers go up again to the 12 per cent figure.

“Since the new tax and stamp duty changes came into effect, the buy-to-let market has slowed, but we know there is still appetite to borrow - which is why we have been working to support this tranche of the market with competitive propositions.”

Mr Sellars said the overall market had become more competitive with the rise of the challenger banks, but he was not overly concerned about their potential to take market share off the bigger players.

“Each of the smaller lenders has a niche, but overall customers and brokers have more choice,” he explained.

“We hold around one in eight UK mortgages and are always looking at ways to continue growing our support of the market.

"We're seeing positive uptake of our products and we're working to maintain this natural market share.”

As part of the bank’s drive to regain lost business, Mr Sellars pledged further help for first-time buyers to ensure they are able to get on the housing ladder, along with competitive products aimed at ‘second-steppers’ keen to move up the ladder.

“Working in partnership with brokers is key,” he added. “Working collaboratively with them, ensuring they have all the latest information about our products and services, is important.”

But Tony Silver, director at London-based White House Mortgages, said challenger banks have been taking business off lenders such as Santander and this shows no sign of abating.

“The challenger banks are being a bit more innovative and flexible as to how they do their underwriting and affordability,” he explained.

“The larger banks need to get in line with that in order to compete with this fringe type of business.

"They will still get their usual solid stuff via branches, but dropping down on market share it is the stuff on the fringe that makes the difference – and that comes in from brokers.

“I have not used Santander for a long time. I used to use them a lot. They dip their toe in the market but never try to be market-leading.