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29 Feb, 2008

Robert Thickett
Date: 27-Feb-2008

HBOS once again rules supreme over the UK mortgage market with its market share shooting up from 8% six months ago to 22%.

But the UK's biggest lender says in its full year results today that it will be sticking with its tactic of going for profitable growth rather than purely for market share.
Underlying profit before tax is up 3% to £5.7bn, up from 5.5bn in 2006. Profit after tax is up 4% to £4.1bn from £3.9bn in 2006.

On the subject of liquidity, it says that despite the impact of the credit crunch in the latter part of 2007 customer deposit growth and the supply of wholesale funding to HBOS remained strong.

This it puts down to diversifying the types and sources of funding it uses, while at the same "prudently and consistently" lengthening the maturity profile of its wholesale funding.

It also reveals that the overall increase in one month LIBOR funding in the second half of 2007 compared to the first half of 2007 cost the bank £72m.

Andy Hornby, chief executive of HBOS, says: "In 2007, the disciplined execution of our strategy has resulted in good earnings growth for our shareholders despite difficult market conditions.

"With our multi-brand distribution strength, strong balance sheet and low cost operating platforms, we are well placed to take opportunities presented by these difficult markets and deliver good growth in shareholder value over the next few years."

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