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Mutuals 'resilient in tough market'

A body that represents UK building societies has reported a 24 per cent increase in gross lending by these organisations and other mutuals in November.

Lending stood at £2.5 billion during the month, which is up from the £2 billion seen 12 months previously.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) said the figures were the highest it has seen since it began reporting on the current basis at the start of 2010.

Also increasing in November were savings balances held by mutuals, which rose by £0.5 billion. However, in the same month of 2010 there was an increase of £0.6 billion.

Between January and November of last year, savings balances held with mutuals rose by £3.7 billion. A year earlier, balances fell by £1.3 billion.

Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, said: "Mutuals have shown their resilience in the face of tough market conditions over the past year and have continued to see their new mortgage lending increase.

"Mutuals lent 16 per cent more from January to November 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, whilst lending across the mortgage market as a whole has remained broadly flat."

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