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UK: HSBC pledges £1 bln for homebuyers

  HSBC Holdings said it has earmarked £1 billion ($1.47 billion) for new mortgage products for borrowers with a deposit as small as 10%, targeting first-time buyers who have seen offers dry up.

Europe’s biggest bank said the products with a maximum loan to value of 90% will only be available to its HSBC Plus account and Premier customers -- respectively current accounts that charge a monthly fee or are for wealthy customers.

HSBC said the offer is part of its commitment to boost mortgage lending. It has said it will lend up to £15 billion to homeowners this year, up 20% from 2008. The loans will charge annual interest of 4.99%, fixed for 2 years. (Reuters)