LONDON, March 31 (Xinhua) - The Bank of England on Monday said loan approvals declined in February, confirming a weaker picture on banks' lending recovery.
The mortgage approvals for new house purchase fell from 76,753 in January to 70,309, well short of the market estimates consensus of 75,000, data showed.
The lackluster data is echoing last week's figure released by British Bankers' Association (BBA).
Britain's mortgage approvals for house purchase saw a 3.6 percent decline to 47,550 in February, compared to that the previous month, said BBA last Tuesday.
British broad money aggregate M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporation, however, increased by 11.7 billion pounds (19.5 billion U.S. dollars) in February, compared to the average monthly increase of 4.4 billion pounds over the previous six months, Monday's data also showed.
"Admittedly, the recent strength of new buyer inquiries and consumer confidence suggests that this sharp fall is likely to be a blip," said Samuel Tombs, British Economist at Capital Economics, a London-based economic research company.
"But with the Mortgage Market Review, which sets out stricter rules for lending, set to be introduced in late April, a strong recovery in mortgage approvals back to the levels seen before the financial crisis continues to look unlikely," said Tombs.
"And in all, then, fears that the recent pick-up in house prices has reflected an unsustainable credit boom still appear to be wide of the mark," he added.