The UK’s biggest mortgage lender, HBoS, and the biggest building society Nationwide, have both announced major changes this month as the mortgage market shrinks further.
Lloyds TSB unveiled its £12.2 billion takeover of the HBoS group including the household names Halifax and Bank of Scotland. The deal will create a “super bank” with around a third of the UK mortgage market, and is expected to save the combined giants £1 billion in operational costs. The deal came as a run on HBoS shares saw the group lose around 70% of it’s value at one stage. The Government also promised to push the deal past the office of fair trading competition rules on public interest grounds.
Earlier in the month, Nationwide announced it was to merge with both the Cheshire and Derbyshire building society.
The three societies will have almost 16 million members, but the two smaller societies members will not receive a windfall.
Nationwide which took over the Portman Building Society last year, has continued to attract business, taking £1 in every £5 saved in the year to April 2008.
While the deals are good for the lenders and it’s hoped their customers, it does mean less competition which could hurt the consumer. Lloyds TSB already own Cheltenham and Gloucester, and Scottish Widows Bank, and the addition of the four HBoS mortgage brands could mean some disappear.
Both deals are hoped to be completed by the end of the year.