Leeds Building Society savings balances hit £14.5bn

Leeds Building Society CEO Richard Fearon

Leeds Building Society said on Friday its half year profit before tax of rose to £70.3 million compared to £32.6 million in the first half of 2020.

The Leeds said its savings balances edged higher to £14.5 billion from £14.2 billion in December 2020, while total assets rose slightly to £21.1 billion.

The mutual said gross lending was up 97% at £2 billion as it helped more than 8,600 first time buyers onto the housing ladder in 2021 – “a new record for any half year period” and a record 37% share of the society’s new lending overall.

“The rebound in home buying and remortgage activity since summer 2020 led to some of the biggest months for mortgage applications in Leeds Building Society’s long history and in 2021 its busiest ever half year,” said the society.

Leeds Building Society CEO Richard Fearon said: “In responding to the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic we’ve remained focused on our core purpose, to help people save and have the home they want, and kept our members at the heart of our long term business priorities.

“We’ve supported the housing market at an exceptionally busy time, and supported our existing borrowers by offering mortgage payment deferrals, as well as waiving arrears fees until the end of this year.

“We’ve supported our savers by keeping branches open for access to essential financial services and have carried on paying 0.56% above the market average rate, which equates to an extra £78.5m in our savings members’ pockets.

“I’m immensely proud of my colleagues and their sustained efforts as the impact of the pandemic on our members has continued to evolve.

“Their professionalism and dedication served the society well throughout 2020 and has been evident again during 2021, helping us to achieve an outstanding performance.”