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According to "The Telegraph," UK mortgage approvals for April 2011 hit their lowest level since records were first collected in 1993. Nida Ali, economic adviser to the Ernst & Young ITEM club, noted that the "fall in mortgage approvals" was "from already depressed levels ...." These factors have increased the concerns that high street banks have over the mortgages already listed on their books.

In April, total UK mortgages dropped 18% to 29,335 from previous year figures. The British Bankers Association said that the average value of loans declined 1.1% from 2010 to £145,100. These levels were last seen during the worst days of the 2007 housing crisis. In related news, UK April unemployment claims rose at the fastest rate in 15 months. As UK consumers worry about employment, they are delaying house purchases.

The continued downward pressure on the mortgage market has financial...

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