By Maximilian Clarke

Online searches for loan products in the UK grew 6% over the first half of 2011, replacing mortgages as the most searched-for retail-banking service.

Independent research from search and social marketing firm, Greenlight, compiled aggregate lists of UK online searches, showing searches for loans neared the 1 million mark in July as cash-strapped Britons increasingly look to supplement their income.

Mortgage interest, which in January accounted for the lion’s share of search activity, declined, echoing declining figures published monthly by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

MoneySavingExpert emerged from Greenlight’s research as the company with the strongest presence on social media, with the most activity on Facebook and Twitter; whilst MoneySUpermarket, TescoBank, and SainsburysBank rising to the top on organic search engine queries.

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