Northern Rock has seen a dramatic fall in mortgage lending over the past two months since its financial problems emerged, according to mortgage brokers. Financial Times

Northern Rock stepped up its mortgage lending dramatically in the first half of the year and took a fifth of all UK net new mortgage lending.

However, some mortgage brokers and intermediaries said that the amount of business it had been writing had fallen sharply since it asked the Bank of England for emergency support in mid-September.

The uncertainty about its future and its funding problems mean it is difficult for the management to step up mortgage lending. The longer the bid process drags on the harder it will be for the bank to recover its position as a major mortgage lender.

Around 85% of all Northern Rock’s mortgage business is sold through intermediaries and mortgage brokers.

Some bank analysts expect net new mortgage lending at the bank could be almost zero or even negative for the second half of the year.