Leeds Building Society H1 profit falls 34% to £32m

Leeds Building Society CEO Richard Fearon

Leeds Building Society said on Friday its profit before tax fell 34% to £32.6 million for the first six months of 2020 “due to increases in fair value losses and impairment provisions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

The mutual said: ” … this is a strong result in the current climate and demonstrates the society’s resilience.”

The UK’s fifth-largest building society said its assets at June 30, 2020, slipped to £20.5 billion from £20.8 billion.

Savings balances edged lower to £14.2 billion from £14.5 billion, with membership falling from 797,000 to 778,000.

Gross residential lending fell to £1 billion from £1.9 billion in the first half of 2019, with Leeds saying: “The society has tempered its appetite for new lending in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent withdrawal of lenders from certain segments of the market, in order to maintain financial strength and protect service to members.”

Leeds Building Society CEO CRichard Fearon said: “Leeds Building Society has weathered many external shocks in its long history but in terms of scale and speed the current pandemic — and the challenges it’s created for individuals, businesses and our communities — has no precedent in recent times.

“Colleagues have shown the values which underpin us as a mutual, that when we work together we can succeed against what may feel overwhelming or unachievable, to ensure we carry on helping people to save and have the home they want.”