OneSavings Bank grants repayment holidays for 26,000 borrowers

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - OneSavings Bank OSBO.L granted repayment holidays for around 26,000 customers struggling to manage their finances during the coronavirus pandemic, the specialist mortgage lender said on Thursday.

The number of holidays granted up to end-June equated to 28% of its loan book by value, the lender said, adding that 18% of borrowers had requested an extension to their original payment freeze.

OneSavings Bank, which specialises in Buy-to-Let, commercial mortgages and residential development finance and is funded primarily through retail savings brand Kent Reliance, said it was "encouraged" by a recovery in application volumes for loans since Britain's housing market reopened.

It said its underlying net loan book grew by 2% to 18.5 billion pounds over the six months to June 30 and it expected to deliver double digit underlying net loan book growth over the full year.

Underlying pretax profits fell to 156.3 million pounds compared with 182.8 million pounds a year ago. Impairment losses in the first half of 2020 were 54.2 million pounds, up from 5.9 million pounds in the corresponding period in 2019.

(Reporting By Sinead Cruise, editing by Lawrence White)

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