Abbey announces surge in new deposits as consumers seek safe haven

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High Street bank Abbey, which is owned by Santander, has announced a rise of 70% in new deposits as consumers look for a secure place to deposit their savings.

During the first nine months of the year, Abbey said it took A?4.3 billion in deposits, compared with A?2.5 billion during the same period in 2007.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, Abbeya��s chief executive, said the strong deposit inflows demonstrate that Abbey, backed by the strength of Santander, is regarded as a safe haven for UK savings customers.

The Spanish banking giant took over Abbey National in November 2004 and has been on the acquisition trail after it recently acquired Alliance & Leicester and also acquired Bradford & Bingleya��s A?20 billion savings base and its network of 197 branches.

The acquisitions boosted Santandera��s presence in the UK and it is now the UKa��s third largest deposit taker, behind Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB/HBOS. Santander now has approximately 1,300 High Street branches and deposits totalling A?116 billion.

Abbey has not participated in the recent UK banking bailout which saw A?20 billion injected into its rivals, Royal Bank of Scotland and a further A?17 billion pumped into Lloyds TSB/HBOS.

In the meantime, Abbeya��s share of new mortgage lending slowed from its high at the half-year stage, however, it still holds a 28% share. During the first nine months of 2008, Abbey lent A?10.8 billion in new mortgage lending, a 61% increase compared with the same period in 2007.

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