Building society mortgage approvals double

Building societies experienced a small net withdrawal of £196million from savings accounts in March. However, with interest credited, balances rose by £2140 million.

Coles said: "The Bank Rate was reduced to 0.5% at the beginning of March, and the figures show the impact of low interest rates and economic conditions on people’s ability and willingness to save.

"However, it is pleasing that despite this, an extra 450,000 savings accounts were open at building societies at the end of March compared to the start of the year. Over £1billion was deposited in building society savings accounts during this period and the sector’s share of the retail savings market increased from 20.2% at the end of February 2008 to 21.4% at the end of February 2009."

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