Newcastle Building Society said its gross mortgage lending rose 8% to £535 million and net mortgage lending was up 11% to £220 million in 2017 and profit before tax rose 62% to £13.1 million.
“Despite an increasingly competitive market and ongoing economic uncertainty, 2017 was a year of continued, solid growth across mortgage lending, savings and financial advice for Newcastle Building Society,” said Newcastle.
“Customers reported an increased level of satisfaction (96%) as the Society continued investment in enhancing its service delivery via online, telephone and its 27 strong branch network across the North East and Cumbria …
“Helping people own their own home is central to Newcastle Building Society’s purpose and 2017 marked a first with the launch of an exclusive range of mortgages to help local people buy their own home in the North East, proving particularly popular with borrowers requiring a 95% loan to value mortgage.
“The Society helped over 1,000 first time buyers take their initial step onto the property ladder in 2017, a 33 per cent increase on the previous year, more than a quarter of these choosing to buy in the North East.
“Mindful of the growing army of self-employed workers, the Society helped over 500 self-employed borrowers buy their home.”
Newcastle said it gave more than £770,000 to local causes in 2017 including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Newcastle CEO Andrew Haigh said: “We’re very pleased with such a strong set of results which are the foundation for delivering our role as the North East’s building society.
“We are not just about encouraging people to save and plan their finances, and helping them to own their home, we believe it is also vitally important to support our communities in making positive changes, providing varied and meaningful career opportunities, and a great place to work for people across our region …
“We can see the effects of a lack of financial understanding in the rising levels of debt in the UK, while pension changes have left many bewildered.
“The withdrawal of many banks from financial advice provision and continued branch closures are not helpful to people who need access to financial advice and information, from the basics to the more complex.
“We continue to focus on the provision of friendly, accessible financial advice and branch services across our North East and Cumbria heartland.
“We are committed to maintaining a strong branch network, supporting the High Street in towns and cities across the region. ”