In its Q1 results to 31 March, Santander reported 1,400 new mobile users each day, adding to its bank of 2.3 million mobile customers, of which 1.5 million exclusively use the app.
Santander UK Group also reported mortgage gross lending of £5.3bn in the first quarter, which it said reflected ‘management pricing actions’ in Q4 2016 impacting new mortgage approvals.
In February, Santander’s annual results confirmed the third largest UK mortgage provider’s overall lending fell from £26.1bn in 2015 to almost £24.6bn over 2016, in a shallow downward trajectory with a similar borrowing mix.
In Q1 2017 the bank lent £0.7bn to 4,570 first-time buyers and interest-only mortgage balances fell £0.9bn to £51.4bn down from £52.3bn in 2016. Buy-to-let mortgage balances remained steady at £6.6bn, Santander confirmed, adding that its focus remained on non-professional landlords.
“We expect our gross mortgage lending to be broadly in line with the market as we continue to focus on customer service in what remains a highly competitive market,” it said.
The bank lent an average loan-to-value (LTV) of 62% on new lending with mortgages over 85% LTV accounting for 17% of new lending. Stock LTV was 43% with averages for London-based mortgages of 35%.
The lender drew down £1.5bn from the Term Funding Scheme in Q1, bringing its total since launch to £6bn.
It also set aside £32m against £114m in Q4 2016 for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) compensation redress payments after the FCA set an August 29 2019 deadline for customer complaints last month.
In January, the bank introduced in-branch client software which it said offers a 360 degree view of each client on a single screen. The bank also updated its SmartBank app to allow customers to check their balances and authorise payments using voice commands.
In March, the process was also simplified to allow customers to open a current account online with fewer questions, instant decisions and document upload where required.
Nathan Bostock, chief executive officer, said: “Looking ahead, we anticipate a changeable and potentially more challenging macro environment, but remain confident of our ongoing ability to meet the needs of our customers and shareholders.”