SPANISH banking giant Santander today said UK profits increased by more 15% after it lifted its share of the mortgage market to 20% in the first three months of the year.
The lender, which completed the rebranding of its Abbey and Bradford & Bingley branches in January, said the leap in trading profits to £426 million came as UK revenues rose by around 8% in the first quarter.
It now claims a fifth of UK gross mortgage lending, at £5.7 billion and up from 18% in 2009 and 15% in the first quarter of last year.
Net deposits soared by 240% to £3 billion year-on-year across retail, corporate and private banking.
Santander, which is also rebranding the Alliance & Leicester chain this year, revealed net mortgage lending of £1.4 billion in the first quarter, up on the £800 million seen a year earlier. The figure, which includes repayments and redemptions, was down from £2.5 billion at the end of 2009.
In a further sign that borrowers remain under pressure, it has set aside more to cover bad debts - up 8% to £204 million compared with a year earlier.