Lloyds CEO warns against housing "Help to Buy" bubble - FT

Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:16pm EDT

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Oct 13 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Lloyds Bank has warned that the government's "Help to Buy" mortgage scheme will risk creating a dangerous bubble in property prices unless steps are taken to boost the supply of new housing and free up planning restrictions, The Financial Times reported.

The FT quoted António Horta-Osório, the CEO of Lloyds as saying, "It is important that planning permits, building authorisations and social housing projects are (liberalised) so that the increase in (mortgage) transactions does not lead to a substantial increase in house prices."

"I think the scheme should be focused outside London and the southeast. (In the rest of the country) you have nothing close to a housing bubble," the FT quoted him as saying.

Lloyds, which is 33 percent owned by the British government, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Lloyds, along with RBS, HSBC, Santander UK and Barclays, has already signed up for scheme which, in exchange for a fee, will give banks greater protection against losses.

The only big lender yet to commit is the customer owned Nationwide, one of the few lenders already offering mortgages to buyers with small deposits.

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