Mortgage lending competition has increased as HSBC pledged to make at least £15 billion available in mortgages this year, including £3 billion ring-fenced for first-time buyers.
The cash will be used by around 150,000 home owners and more than 27,000 people taking their first step on the property ladder.
The lender said its commitment would represent a market share of more than 11%, in line with the biggest market share the bank has ever had.
The move follows predictions that house transactions could hit record lows this year and concerns that despite widening their ranges with more innovative deals, lenders will tighten their criteria against the weak economic backdrop, making it tougher for would-be buyers to borrow.
A spokesman for HSBC said there were no plans to alter the bank's lending criteria this year, adding: "We have always had a relatively conservative lending criteria."
The bank said the mortgage fund will be subject to its usual lending process to ensure that new lending is in the best interests of customers and shareholders.
The first-time buyer share of the market has shown signs of a slight pick-up after hitting its lowest level in nearly three years last autumn. However, fears have been raised that those struggling to raise a deposit will be hit further when the current stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers ends this spring.
The HSBC spokesman said the bank has been trying to help first-time buyers and the maximum loan-to-value deal it offers of 90% has "proved very popular with customers".
Martijn van der Heijden, head of lending at HSBC, said: "In 2011 we offered UK borrowers some of the most competitive rates around and we plan to continue this in 2012.
"While some estimates suggest mortgage lending in the UK will fall this year, HSBC has no intention of closing its doors to customers, nor will we compromise our reputation for responsible lending."
© 2012 Press Association