Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

RBS makes £1.7bn mortgage promise

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RBS said it hoped the move would help to refuel the Scottish economy

The Royal Bank of Scotland is promising to pump £1.7bn worth of mortgages into the Scottish housing market over the course of the coming year.

Finance Secretary John Swinney has welcomed the move.

He claims the bank's action will help re-invigorate the property market north of the border.

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said the move highlighted the "positive effects" of the government's action so far to bring stability to the banking sector.

The lending package includes £500m released through the Treasury's Asset Protection Scheme, aimed at bringing financial stability to Britain's banks during the global downturn.

RBS said it would continue to offer customers loans of up to 90% to help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder and said it was committed to releasing further funds to help reinvigorate Scotland's housing market if customer demand dictated.

I hope this will help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder and give Scotland's housing market a lift
John Swinney
Finance Secretary

Paul Geddes, chief executive of consumer banking at RBS Group, said: "Our message to customers in Scotland is very clear, we are now more than ever open for mortgage business.

"We hope the latest commitment goes some way to refuelling the Scottish economy and provides borrowers with the financial means to get back on track and realise their plans for the future."

Scottish secretary Mr Murphy said: "When the UK Government moved decisively to underpin our banks it was to save the lifeline services they provide for individuals and businesses and to allow us to keep moving economically.

"Today's news shows we were right to do so and highlights the positive effects which are emerging as a result."

Finance secretary John Swinney said the bank's action would help re-invigorate Scotland's property market in a "challenging global economic climate".

"With interest rates having reached a record low, it is crucial that the banks now lend effectively and appropriately to help householders and businesses across Scotland," he added.

"I hope this will help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder and give Scotland's housing market a lift."

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