One of Britain’s biggest lenders withdrew some of its most popular mortgage deals last night after the Bank of England cut its base rate.

The move dashed the hopes of first-time buyers and hard-pressed homeowners who had hoped that the Chancellor’s bank bailout would signal an era of cheaper and easier borrowing.

Cheltenham & Gloucester, the home-loans arm of Lloyds TSB, promptly withdrew some competitive 'tracker' deals linked to the base rate. Nationwide, the biggest building society, and Abbey, the second-largest mortgage lender, are understood to be planning similar moves.

All of these institutions could benefit from the Government’s £500bn injection of cash into the banking industry, which was made on the understanding that mortgage finance should become more easily available after months of tightening purse strings.

The Times