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Mortgage lending 'recovering'

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has released new figures which appear to show a recovery in mortgage approvals. The BBA said high remortgaging rates drove up approvals to 44,288 in January - up almost 2,000 over December, which was itself a near-record low. Total net lending also rose from £4.9 billion to £5.2 billion, BBA said. Statistics director at the association David Dooks commented: "Although house prices and new loans for house purchase, appear to be subdued as the housing market slows, the strength of remortgaging would suggest competition for mortgage business and switching remains high." More generally, less positive news was contained in BBA's financial outlook for credit and debit cards. "Despite strong volumes of retail sales, card transaction volumes were little changed and spending was more than offset by repayments," Mr Dooks added. "Overall consumer credit remained subdued."

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