Santander UK

December 09, 2009 13:12 ET

Abbey Disappointed by Non-Extension of Stamp Duty Holiday

LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2009) - Abbey has today expressed its disappointment at the Government's failure to extend the Stamp Duty holiday for properties up to Pounds Sterling 175,000 beyond the current deadline of 31 December.

The exemption of properties valued between Pounds Sterling 125,000 and Pounds Sterling 175,000 from a Stamp Duty tax of 1 per cent came into effect in September 2008. Since the Stamp Duty holiday was introduced, an estimated 132,500 house purchase mortgage transactions have escaped paying the tax, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of the 486,400 house purchase loans in the period, research released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders last month revealed.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, Director of Mortgages at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, said: "This is disappointing news not only for first-time buyers looking to take their first step onto the property ladder but also for the wider housing market. First-time buyers are the lifeline of the housing market and it's a shame to see this support come to an end at a time when the wider housing market is still in recovery. First-time buyers currently in the process of buying should make sure they complete their sale before 31 December to save themselves up to Pounds Sterling 1,750 before the Stamp Duty holiday comes to an end."

Abbey has also called on the Government to do more to help first-time buyers.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner said: "A wider shake-up of the current Stamp Duty system is long overdue. We would welcome a permanent increase to the nil rate threshold or at the very least, making Stamp Duty incremental, so it works like income tax. The current slab taxation system is unfair as it means that if a person falls into a higher threshold, even by just a few pounds, they pay the higher rate on the whole amount. This penalises all buyers, but particularly struggling first-time buyers and those in the South East who are more likely to fall into the higher tax band."

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About Us

Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with operations in more than 40 countries. At the end of 2008, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and third in the world by profit.

In the UK, Santander operates three retail businesses - Abbey, Alliance & Leicester who provide competitive bank accounts and savings products, and Bradford & Bingley. Together they have over 1300 branches, around 4,500 cash machines and they provide a full range of retail and corporate banking services to 24 million customers.

Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and the savings business of Bradford & Bingley will all become known as Santander by the end of 2010. Abbey and the savings business of Bradford & Bingley will be rebranded from the first quarter of 2010 and Alliance & Leicester will follow later in the year. The move will deliver a significant advantage for customers as they will be able to use any of 1,000 Santander branches from early 2010, rising to over 1,300 by the end of 2010. For more information, please visit www.santander.co.uk

The Bradford & Bingley logo is a trade mark of Bradford & Bingley plc and is used under licence.

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