Rival banks declined to follow the lead of Royal Bank of Scotland in pledging to wait six months before starting the process of repossessing a home.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Northern Rock yesterday said they believed their current policies were adequate. A spokesman for HBOS, the largest home loan provider, said: 'We will look at this but we already have a comprehensive programme in place for borrowers who get into difficulties.'

Barclays said it had repossessed fewer homes this year than Northern Rock has done in a month. Northern Rock’s repossessions are above average, reflecting its higher rate of loans that are souring.

Daily Telegraph