Monday, July 13, 2009
It never rains but it pours
"Some of Britain's biggest lenders have pushed up sharply the cost of popular fixed-rate mortgage deals, in defiance of ministers' calls for more competition to revive the housing market. Banks rescued with billions of pounds of taxpayer money are among those that increased interest rates yesterday or withdrew deals. Northern Rock, the state-owned lender nationalised last year, raised the cost of some of its deals by as much as 0.6 of a percentage point, taking its two-year fixed-rate to 5.09 per cent and its five-year deal to 6.29 per cent. The Bank of England's base rate is 0.5 per cent. Last night, Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 70 per cent- owned by the taxpayer, pulled some of its best mortgage deals from its website, said London & Country Mortgages..."