(Reuters) - Britain’s Nationwide Building Society reported a 4% fall in half-year profit on Friday, a second consecutive period of decline that it attributed to low interest rates and tough competition in the mortgage market.
The lender reported an underlying profit of £588m for the six months to 30 September, down from £615m a year earlier.
Britain’s second-biggest provider of mortgages has been hit in recent years by falling home loans - its main product - and low interest rates, which have squeezed its margins.
Nationwide said those pressures were set to continue amid intensifying competition.
“We’re prepared for the possibility that intense competition combined with declining consumer confidence may lead to a moderation in gross lending and market share in the second half of the year,” Chief Executive Joe Garner (above) said.
Rival lender Virgin Money on Thursday also warned its mortgage market share would be lower than previously expected, as low interest rates push banks to offer increasingly attractive offers to home buyers.