Leeds Building Society savings balances hit £12.5bn

Leeds Building Society CEO Peter Hill

Leeds Building Society said strong mortgage growth drove a 9% increase in profit before tax to a record £63.2 million in the first half of 2017.

Leeds said it had record new residential mortgage lending of £2.1 billion, up 10%.

The society’s savings balances increased by a record £1.3 billion to £12.5 billion and membership rose to a record 778,000.

Leeds Building Society CEO Peter Hill said: “Because we’re a mutual we are able to take a longer-term view so we can grow in a responsible and sustainable way and help as many people as possible to save and have the home they want.

“That’s enabled us to increase our mortgage lending across a balanced product range while supporting borrowers who aren’t well served by the wider market.

“Alongside mainstream lending, we’re well-known for our expertise in sectors including Interest Only, Affordable Housing and Shared Ownership – What Mortgage magazine named us best Shared Ownership Lender for the second year running.

“To support borrowers and our intermediary partners we’re constantly reviewing and refining our lending criteria to improve their experience during application and provide the best possible service.

“In the first half of 2017 we helped 22,410 more people to have the home they want, many of whom would not have been able to take this step without us. Of these, 5,922 were first time buyers.

“While Bank Base Rate remains at an historic low, we’ve worked hard to balance the needs of borrowers and savers and continue to pay above average returns.

“We added over 41,000 new savings members thanks to our efforts to improve our service and offer long-term good value products despite the challenging market.

“We paid on average 1.52% to our savers, compared to the rest of the market average of 0.85%, equating to an annual benefit to our savers of over £70.8 million …

“We achieved record profits of £63.2 million, up 9% on the same period in 2016.

“This allows us to maintain financial security for our members, continue to grow sustainably and increase regulatory capital and reserves to a record £952 million.

“This strong financial performance enabled us to retain our long term ‘A’ ratings from Moody’s and Fitch …

“Our branches are an integral part of our business, not least by attracting retail savings that we’re able to lend.”