The industry still managed to complete 2,050 deals during the month worth £93m, but these totals were down by 14 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier, according to figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).
The fall did not impact annual lending totals too significantly. The 28,172 transactions worth £1.26bn in the 12 months to March remained 14 per cent higher than in the year to March 2019.
Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer and mortgage finance at the FLA said: “The disruption caused by the lockdown in March led to falls in second charge mortgage new business of 14 per cent by both value and volume compared with March 2019.
“New business volumes in Q1 2020 as a whole increased by two per cent compared with the same quarter in 2019.
“Lenders are continuing to do all they can to support customers during this challenging period and customers experiencing payment difficulties should contact their lender as soon as possible.”
New business in the overall consumer finance space fell by 16 per cent in March 2020 compared with the same month in 2019, and contracted by four per cent in Q1 2020 as a whole.
Car finance was worst hit, down by 24 per cent in terms of transaction numbers to 3,750 in the month, and this dragged the running 12-month total down by one per cent to 36,840.