British lenders increased their mortgage lending in May by the most since September last year, Bank of England data showed on Friday.

Net mortgage lending increased by 7.426 billion pounds ($9.0 billion) while new mortgage approvals held roughly steady at 66,163, the BoE said.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a net rise of 4.15 billion pounds in mortgage lending in May and 64,000 mortgage approvals during the month. ($1 = 0.8256 pounds) (Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)