March 26, 2019 / 9:56 AM / a year ago

UK banks approve fewer mortgages in February as Brexit nears: UK Finance

A couple walk past property estate agent sales and letting signs in London, Britain, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - British banks approved fewer mortgages in February than during January, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Seasonally-adjusted data from the UK Finance industry body showed banks approved 39,083 mortgages last month, down from 39,910 in January.

The value of net mortgage lending increased by 711 million pounds ($936 million), the smallest rise since April 2016 and around half the size of increases in much of last year.

The figures added to signs of a weakening in Britain’s housing market ahead of Brexit.

Overall consumer credit growth also slowed, rising by 3.8 percent compared with February last year, the smallest increase since October, the UK Finance data showed.

(The story amends number of mortgages approved and deletes reference to six-year low after data provider UK Finance released corrected figures)

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken

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