From This is Money:
They reduced their loans by a total of £50bn as the credit crunch ravaged their finances and property prices tumbled.
The most dramatic cuts were seen at Lloyds and Halifax Bank of Scotland, which merged at the end of the year. They were followed by nationalised rival Royal Bank of Scotland.
Of the top ten, only HSBC and Bank of Ireland increased lending. Overall, lending by the top ten was down 18% to £222.4bn.
The figures will add to anger over banks’ failure to meet pledges to bolster lending to credit-starved families and businesses.
They also revealed that choice in the mortgage market has diminished dramatically due to mergers and the withdrawal of smaller foreign-owned lenders, adding to concerns that customers are getting a poor deal. The five biggest mortgage firms accounted for nearly three quarters of all home loans in 2008, compared with 65% in 2007 and 62% in 2006.
Bank of England figures last week showed that financial giants are making record profi…
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