Abbey ‘taking advantage of credit crunch’

Abbey has taken advantage of the worsening housing market conditions as it sees its rivals retreat from the market, it has been revealed.

The bank’s market share reached 15.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2008, according to a Reuters report, something which may be of significance to people who want to buy a house in Scotland.

Net mortgaging for the company was £2.9 billion, representing an increase of almost double the figure from the previous year.

The bank, owned by Spanish company Santander, stated that most of its signings were for customers hoping to remortgage old loans and few were for new mortgages.

"Our market share is more than 15 percent which is more than our natural share because of the market conditions," said Santander chief executive officer Alfredo Saenz.

According to Reuters, HBOS recently predicted that UK house prices are to fall by "mid single digits" in 2008.