Abbey, the country’s second-largest mortgage lender, will relax the lending criteria on its most popular home loans tomorrow, providing a significant boost to the mortgage market.

The lender, which is owned by Santander, of Spain, is lowering the minimum deposit required for its best fixed-rate deals from 40% to 30%, making its most competitive deals available to tens of thousands more prospective homeowners.

The move came as the Bank of England said that the recovery in the economy would be slow and protracted, raising the likelihood of low interest rates for at least another year, economists said.

The Times