Mortgage lenders are pressing Alistair Darling to step up government aid to homeowners struggling with their loan payments as they unveiled a series of voluntary measures aimed at limiting foreclosures.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, whose members account for roughly 98% of home loans in Britain, has written to the chancellor to underscore its view that the number of those facing the loss of their home is likely to rise, albeit from a very low level.

In its letter, the CML noted that recent shocks – including the impact of the credit crunch, which has curtailed the supply of capital for new mortgage lending and a rise in banks’ own cost of funds – are likely to have an effect on the housing market.

'It is therefore vital that the industry and the government work together to make the safety net for borrowers in financial difficulty as strong as possible,' the CML said.

Financial Times, The Times