Bank takeover ‘could see borrowers left with fewer choices’

The takeover of Alliance & Leicester by the Santander banking group could ultimately lead to a reduction in choice for British borrowers, it has been claimed.

According to Pauline McCallion, editor of Your Mortgage, the acquisition deal is likely to see a merging of the mortgage offers from Alliance & Leicester and Abbey, which is already owned by Santander.

“What tends to happen with these things is they combine the two mortgage ranges and merge things that are quite similar and drop some products,” Ms McCillion explained.

“Both Abbey and Alliance and Leicester are quite big players in the UK mortgage market so it will have an effect on the amount of products available.”

As a result, the situation could mean more bad news for borrowers in the UK, many of whom are struggling to cope with their mortgage-related debt management difficulties.

Recent figures suggested that Alliance & Leicester held a 4.4 per cent share of the UK’s overall mortgage lending market, while Abbey accounted for almost 16 per cent of the sector.

By Frank Charlton

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