YORKSHIRE Building Society posted a “strong” financial performance for the first half of 2012 – as it increased lending to new borrowers and benefited from the banking scandals.
The UK’s second largest building society, which has its roots in Huddersfield, said a positive performance together with its recent merger and acquisition activity underlined its position as “a strong and resilient independent financial mutual and reinforced members’ confidence and trust in the group.”
The Bradford-based society posted pre-tax profits of £82.8m against £73.1m for the same period last year. Core operating profit rose by 2% to £92.4m from £90.2m last time while net lending stood at £523m.
Total mortgage balances grew to £27.5bn from £27bn before. Member savings balances were stable at £26.1bn while gross mortgage lending increased by 58%.
Non-interest income increased to £24.5m from £20.5m – earned principally from sales of insurance and investment products through third party partners
The society said loans in arrears by more than three months had been reduced to 1.38% – materially below the industry average of 1.96% while 100% of mortgages were being funded by savings balances and reserves.
During the period, the society opened three new branches – with a further nine planned over the next 18 months. It also opened two new high street agencies taking the total number of outlets on the high street to 323. It created 190 jobs across head office and branches.
The society said it continued to investment in online services to improve and simplify management of online accounts while integration of recently-acquired Egg mortgage and savings balances and the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society was well under way.
Some 112,000 new customers had been attracted by offering competitive products, including 87,000 new savers through its Triple Access Saver, a traditional branch-based passbook account which combines a competitive variable rate with access to savings.
Chris Pilling, chief executive, said the mutual’s performance reflected the success of its “ambitious but prudent” approach to our business.
He said: “Whilst the economic environment remains uncertain, we are confident that the group is very well placed to continue to grow and prosper, providing our members with a credible and secure alternative to the high street banks”.