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Santander sees profits plunge amid mortgage market war.

FIRST.HALF profits at Santander's UK business plunged by more than a third as the mortgage price war dragged down its income.

The Spanish-owned lender saw its profits continue to be weighed down by intense pressure in the UK mortgage market, which saw it post a 35% profit slump in the first quarter.

The UK business was also pressurised by restructuring costs after the group announced earlier this year that it is to axe 140 branches across the UK, putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk.

UK pre-tax profits fell by 36% to PS575m in the half-year to June as the intense competition over mortgages pulled down income for the period.

Income slipped by 8.4% to PS2.1bn during the half-year, but the company held firm on its outlook for the rest of 2019.

It said that, assuming the UK has an orderly exit from the EU, its forecasts remain unchanged, although it said it has continued no-deal Brexit preparations as that potential outcome becomes more likely.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 24, 2019
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