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Britain’s OSB posts 8% rise in lending on strong housing demand

British lender OSB (OSBO.L) reported on Thursday an 8% increase in its underlying net loans for the nine months ended September and stood by its growth forecasts for the year, driven mainly by strong housing demand as the economy emerges from the pandemic.

Loan volumes at lenders like OSB have risen recently as a shift to remote working and a government tax break boosted housing demand and helped counter a hit from record-low interest rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OSB said its lending and savings franchises performed well, despite mortgage lending for homes hitting a 14-month low in September after the tax break expired and as worries over higher inflation curbed consumer spending.

“We remain mindful of uncertainty in the outlook for the UK economy, however, demand in housing and rental markets remains strong,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Golding said in a statement.

The lender, which specialises in buy-to-let, commercial mortgages and residential development finance, said underlying net loans stood at 20.6 billion pounds ($27.88 billion) at the end of first nine months of the year, compared with 19.0 billion pounds a year ago.

The group also said it remains on track to deliver about 10% underlying net loan book growth in 2021.

($1 = 0.7389 pounds)

Reporting by Sinchita Mitra and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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